Erick Fedde put together a nice run of 21-straight scoreless innings back in mid-May to mid-June, with an IL stint for a positive COVID-19 test in the middle of the streak. Fedde held the opposing teams off the board over three straight starts in which he did not allow a run, but in four starts that have followed, the 28-year-old right-hander has given up a total of 25 hits, 11 walks, and 20 runs (all earned) over 14 2⁄3 IP (12.27 ERA), with opposing hitters putting up a rough .373/.462/.597 line against the Washington Nationals’ 2014 1st Round pick.
What’s different now as opposed to when Fedde was rolling and looking like he was turning a corner in his career?
“Yeah, I think, I mean, starting off innings the right way,” Fedde said after he gave up three hits, four walks, and six earned runs in just 1 1⁄3 innings of work on the mound in what was, in the end, a 24-8 loss to the San Diego Padres last Friday night in the nation’s capital.
“I think right now, just even the last two games, it feels like there’s been guys on base constantly. So I guess maybe it’s just being effective with nobody on base early in the innings.
“And I don’t know, I just — being more aggressive with my offspeed early in the count and just getting more strikes. I think at that point I was just throwing everything with so much confidence, right at the heart of the plate, and it’s a lot easier to pitch in better counts.
“And I think I just need to get back to that.”
“When he was going really well,” Davey Martinez said, after yanking Fedde 57 pitches into his outing against the Padres, “he was attacking the strike zone early, and getting ahead early. Today, he was just — he was yanking everything today, and he just couldn’t find the strike zone. Falling behind, leaving pitches up, just not a good day for Fedde today.”
“Hopefully they’ll go back, they’ll look at some video tomorrow and he’ll throw a good bullpen,” the manager added
“We’ll get back him on track, and he comes back in five days and gives us a good outing.”
The decision to lift Fedde early on Friday, was not a difficult one, however.
“Yeah, I mean, he had  pitches I think in an inning and a third, so I couldn’t leave him out there after that,” Martinez explained. “I wasn’t hoping to get through that inning, but we just didn’t do it.”
Fedde acknowledged that the four walks he gave up were the cause of most of the issues in the outing.
“It’s got to be the walks. Starting both innings off with that is not ideal. But I think it just kind of set the tone in the wrong way,” Fedde said.
“Free bases are not a good way to start the game.”
And a 1 1⁄3-inning out of the gate was not a good way to start the second half either, and the 28-year-old starter said he was excited to get the nod coming out of the break too.
“Yeah, of course, I was really thankful for the confidence in me throwing the last one and then getting it right back again for the first game after the break,” Fedde said, “but looking at it I was really excited for it and was happy for the opportunity, just didn’t really do what I was hoping for.”
We’ll find out if Fedde and the Nationals’ coaches found a fix tonight, or if maybe a scuffling Marlins team is just what the righty needs to get back on track.