Erick Fedde and Joey Lucchesi had themselves a pitchers’ duel in the nation’s capital tonight. Fedde tossed seven scoreless innings for the Nationals, while Lucchesi went through 5 1⁄3 scoreless for the Mets in the 1st of 4 for New York in Washington, D.C.
It was still 0-0 in the ninth when Juan Soto walked to start the frame, and took third base, running on a Ryan Zimmerman single to right. With runners on first and third, and no one out, Yan Gomes stepped in and hit a line drive single to left field to win it with a walk-off hit... 1-0 Nationals.
Fedde vs the Mets: Nationals’ right-hander Erick Fedde took the mound tonight with a streak of 13-straight scoreless innings going, coming off seven scoreless against the D-Backs and (after close to a month on the COVID-IL) five scoreless against the Giants (in a seven-inning game).
With a potential rotation crunch a possibility for the Nationals a few weeks back, there was talk about whether or not Fedde would remain in the rotation when he returned from the IL.
Things sorted themselves out, however, with injuries elsewhere in the rotation, and Fedde slotted right back in once he was cleared to return.
“For a young pitcher as he is, things are starting to come together for him and it’s good to see,” Davey Martinez said after Fedde’s outing against San Francisco.
“I told him before, ‘Hey, you deserve to start, you earned it, just keep it going.”
Fedde kept his scoreless inning streak going, with six scoreless to start, on 88 pitches, working around two hits and two walks and striking out six of the 20 batters he faced.
It was still a 0-0 game when Fedde came back out for the seventh and walked the first batter, his third leadoff walk of the game, but he got a fly to right field from Pete Alonso for out No. 1, then stayed on to face lefty Billy McKinney even though lefty Sam Clay was warm in the ‘pen. Fedde got a grounder to second in the shift, but there was no one at home to accept a throw in that alignment, so no double play. An intentional walk to Luis Guillorme got Fedde a right-handed batter, Tomás Nido, who hit a one-hop grounder to third base for out No. 3 of his seventh scoreless frame tonight (and 20th-straight scoreless overall).
Erick Fedde’s Line: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 100 P, 61 S, 10/3 GO/FO.
Luchessi vs the Nationals: While he was winless in his last four starts, after bouncing back and forth between the rotation and bullpen earlier this season, Mets’ lefty Joey Lucchesi had posted a 1.56 ERA and a .190/.242/.310 line against in 17 1⁄3 IP over that stretch, and in his last outing before this evening’s matchup with the Nationals, the 28-year-old lefty held the San Diego Padres to a run on four hits in five innings of work in a 7-3 loss in which he received no decision.
Lucchesi lobbied for a longer leash after that outing, telling reporters, as quoted on NJ.com, “I want to pitch as long as I can. I know I only threw 72 pitches. I’m not tired and wasn’t tired at the time.”
“Just got to keep showing him that I can get through the order three times and that I can pitch, man,” he added.
Joey Lucchesi, Churve release pic.twitter.com/TCyZd8dprQ— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 19, 2021
Tonight in the nation’s capital, Lucchesi got off to a good start with two scoreless on a total of just 24 pitches, but the Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 3rd, only to have Trea Turner ground into an inning-ending 5-3 DP. #Basesloadednottheirthing
Lucchesi got through five scoreless on 74 pitches tonight, matching his previous season-high for innings pitched, and he topped his season-high in pitches in the first AB of the sixth, but a one-out single by Trea Turner earned him a visit from the Mets’ pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, but he stayed on to face Juan Soto (who’s not hitting lefties well this year, .212 AVG before tonight, though he’d hit 5 of 8 HRs this season off LHPs), and he went 3-0 against Soto, and walked Soto on four pitches to end his night...
Joey Lucchesi’s Line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 90 P, 55 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Season High?: The Nationals started tonight’s matchup on a four-game win streak, tied for the club’s longest winning streak this season, and they’d won six of their last eight games, the Nationals noted in their pregame, uh, notes, with the club “outscoring opponents 31-14 over this stretch.” Would they make it a season-high five in a row tonight?
Bullpen Action: Mets’ reliever Miguel Castro came on with two on and one out in the Nats’ half of the sixth and Ryan Zimmerman at the plate, after Trea Turner singled and Juan Soto walked to knock Joey Lucchesi out of the game, and got an inning-ending, 5-4-3 DP on the 3-1 sinker he threw to to Zimmerman. Still 0-0 after six.
Castro came back out with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to keep it a 0-0 game.
Kyle Finnegan took over for the Nationals in the top of the eighth and retired the side in order in an 11-pitch frame.
Aaron Loup gave up a two-out single to center by Kyle Schwarber before the Mets went to the pen again for righty Seth Lugo, who got a groundout from Trea Turner to keep it 0-0.
Brad Hand retired the side in order in a six-pitch top of the ninth.
Edwin Díaz walked Juan Soto in the first at bat of the Nationals’ ninth, and he was running when Ryan Zimmerman singled through the right side in the next at bat. First and third, 0 outs. Yan Gomes stepped in next and singled to win in. Walk-off winner. Ballgame.
Final Score: 1-0 Nationals
Nationals now 31-35