Erick Fedde tossed seven scoreless against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 16th, before he ended up in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 on the next stop on that road trip in Chicago, IL, and he was out of action in the majors until this afternoon, when the 28-year-old returned to the mound for Washington’s Nationals and put up five scoreless on 82 pitches in what ended up a 2-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.
Fedde vs the Giants: Erick Fedde’s last start, before he ended up on the COVID-IL after he tested positive, was a scoreless, seven-inning outing on the road in Arizona in which he’d held D-backs’ hitters to three hits and two walks, and induced 12 ground ball outs, usually one of the signs that he’s where he wants to be.
“I had four pitches today,” Fedde said after the outing, “I think just a ton of ground balls was one of the biggest things that was going. It usually means my sinker is working. I think I was just able to throw a bunch of different pitches at the bottom of the zone, that was probably the biggest thing.”
How would he return after close to a month out of the rotation? Fedde was reinstated from the COVID-IL this afternoon, and going up against the Giants today, the righty struck three batters out in a scoreless first, and escaped a first-and-third, one-out jam in the second via the 6-3 DP Giants’ infielder Jason Vosler hit into.
Fedde worked around a leadoff single (by the opposing pitcher) in an 18-pitch third, and returned to the mound in the fourth and retired the Giants in order in a 17-pitch frame to complete four scoreless on 69 pitches.
After adding two more strikeouts (for 7 total Ks from 18 batters faced) in a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth, Fedde was up to 82 total when his spot came up in the bottom of the inning...
Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks, 82 P, 51 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Gausman vs the Nats: Kevin Gausman, 30, took the mound tonight unbeaten in 12 starts, (7-0), with the Giants 9-3 in his outings thus far, in his second year in San Francisco. He’d given up one earned run or fewer in 11 of his 12 starts, and posted a 1.27 ERA, with 16 walks, 93 Ks, and a stingy .156/.201/.250 line against in 77 2⁄3 IP. Gausman had a streak of 18 scoreless innings of work on the mound snapped when the Chicago Cubs scored two unearned runs in his last outing before tonight, but overall he’s been dominant so far in 2021, which was not a great sign for the Nationals going in.
But, of course, the right-hander, who’d given up one home run in his previous six starts and 38 IP, gave another one up two pitches into today’s game, with Kyle Schwarber hitting an 0-1 fastball into the second deck for a leadoff bomb and a 1-0 Nationals’ lead early in the first game of two today in D.C. Schwarber’s 10th.
Trea Turner singled and Juan Soto walked in the at bats that followed, but a 4-6-3 DP off of Josh Bell’s bat and a swinging K from Josh Harrison got the righty out of an early jam, and he retired eight in a row altogether to get through the third with the score still 1-0.
Vaunted leadoff slugger Kyle Schwarber launched his 10th HR of the season. It landed it the 2nd deck.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 12, 2021
(It was his 6th career leadoff Schwar .)#NATITUDE // https://t.co/Q3S2lefCHS pic.twitter.com/JLWB5cLgrI
Soto walked again to snap that streak of retired batters for Gausman, then scored one out later on a double to right by Josh Harrison, 2-0 in the fourth.
Kevin Gausman’s Line: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 64 P, 40 S, 3/3 GO/FO.
Schwarbomb: Davey Martinez decided to have Kyle Schwarber lead off this afternoon in the hope that he’d get to see some fastballs from Giants’ starter Kevin Gausman.
“Get Schwarber up there in the leadoff spot,” Martinez said, “... see if we can get him going again, get him some fastballs early.”
Like two pitches early? Is that what Martinez was thinking? Two pitches in, in the home-half of the first, Schwarber hit a 94 MPH 0-1 fastball from Gausman 426 feet to right field and up to the second deck in Nationals Park for a solo home run and a 1-0 lead.
Bullpen Action: José Álvarez was first out of the pen for the Giants, and he retired the Nats in order in a quick, nine-pitch frame.
Kyle Finnegan worked around a two-out single in a 16-pitch sixth.
Álvarez returned to the mound in the bottom of the sixth and worked around a leadoff hit by Trea Turner.
Brad Hand came on for the save opportunity in the top of the seventh and retired the side in order to end it. Ballgame.
Final Score: 2-0 Nationals
Nationals now 26-34