Erick Fedde gave up three solo home runs and an RBI double in six innings of work on the mound tonight in Atlanta, GA with the third homer a dagger to the Washington Nationals’ collective heart, coming as it did a half-inning after they’d rallied to tie things up at 3-3 in the series finale with the Braves in Truist Park.
It was tied at 4-4 in the eighth, when Luis García hit a 93 MPH 2-1 fastball from Richard Rodríguez out to center, 448 feet from home for a go-ahead home run, 5-4.
Freddie Freeman led off the eighth with a game-tying monster shot of a home run to right, however, and Adam Duvall hit one out to left, 6-5, both of them off of Mason Thompson in the eighth, but Lane Thomas tripled to start the ninth and scored the tying run when the Braves failed to turn an inning-ending double play on a one-out grounder to short by Josh Bell, 6-6.
It went to extras tied at 6-6, but after the Nationals stranded their free runner, the Braves walked off on a bases-loaded single by Joc Pederson in the 10th, 7-6 final.
Fedde vs ATL: In back-to-back outings against the Mets in his last two starts before tonight, right-hander Erick Fedde gave up 17 hits and 13 runs (nine earned) in only 8 1⁄3 IP, with Mets’ hitters putting up a .425/.457/.650 line against the Nationals’ 2014 first round pick in those two outings.
“I honestly thought he didn’t pitch that bad,” bench coach Tim Bogar told reporters after the second of those two starts against the Mets.
“He gave up a lot of ground ball base hits, you know, if he gets a couple ground balls right at people, it’s a whole different day.”
Tonight in Atlanta, Fedde was taking on the Braves for the fourth time this season, after he gave up 19 hits and 16 runs (14 ER) in 11 1⁄3 IP (11.12 ERA) in the previous three outings.
The 28-year-old right-hander retired the first seven batters he faced in order, but fell behind 2-1 on catcher Stephen Vogt and left a cutter up in the zone that the slugger hit out to right field, 395 feet, cutting the Nationals’ early 2-0 lead in half, 2-1.
The Braves tied it at 2-2 in the fourth, with Freddie Freeman (on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, a 3-2 cutter down in the zone), and Austin Riley (on a 1-2 curve Fedde left up), hitting back-to-back doubles off the Nationals’ starter, with Freeman (21) scoring easily on Riley’s 26th two-base hit of the season, 2-2.
Vogt got Fedde again, on a 93 MPH 3-2 fastball up in the zone in the fifth, which Vogt hit out to right, 405 feet from home, for his 2nd of the night, his 7th of the season, and a 3-2 lead.
It was 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, when Fedde came back out at 91 pitches, and gave up a solo home run to center by Jorge Soler on a first-pitch fastball, 4-3 Braves.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks, 3 HRs, 108 P, 70 S, 6/4 GO/FO.
Ynoa vs D.C.: Braves’ right-hander Huascar Ynoa posted a 2.23 ERA in his first eight games (seven starts) and 40 1⁄3 IP this season, walking nine, striking out four, and holding opposing hitters to a combined .186/.239/.366 line, but after he gave up nine hits, two walks, and five earned runs in 4 1⁄3 IP against Milwaukee in mid-May, the 23-year-old pitcher punched the dugout bench and broke his pitching hand.
“I got taken out of the game and I was frustrated,” Ynoa said as quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month.
“I sat down and I punched the bench. Just sort of those things that happen when you’re frustrated and angry.”
That injury kept Ynoa out of the major league rotation until August 17th. In four starts since returning, heading into tonight’s game, he had a 3.52 ERA in 23 IP, walking six and striking out 21 in those outings.
Going up against the Nationals tonight, Ynoa walked the first batter he faced, putting Lane Thomas on, before a one-out single by Juan Soto and RBI double by Josh Bell drove the leadoff man in. Soto took third base on Bell’s two-base hit to left-center, and scored on Yadiel Hernandez’s groundout, 2-0 Nationals.
Ynoa retired six straight after Bell’s double, before Alcides Escobar singled with one out in the third, but Escobar was stranded, and the Braves’ starter set down eight of the last nine that he faced (14 of the last 16) overall, before he was lifted from the game after stranding the only other batter to reach base after the first, Lane Thomas, who walked with one down in the fifth.
Huascar Ynoa’s Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 89 P, 60 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Bell of the Ball: Josh Bell started the night with hits in 14 of his last 16 games, going 19 for 60 (.317 AVG) with three doubles, five home runs, 12 RBIs, 11 walks, and seven runs scored over that stretch, over which he’d, the Nationals noted in their pregame notes, reached base safely in 30 of his 71 plate appearances, with a .423 OBP and .617 SLG in that stretch.
Bell made it hits in 15 of 17 with an RBI double the first time up.
Josh Bell doin' Josh Bell things pic.twitter.com/kPS9elYhLP— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) September 9, 2021
Bullpen Action: A.J. Minter took over for the Braves with the home team up 3-2 in the sixth inning, and gave up a leadoff single by Juan Soto, but retired two batters before the Braves’ skipper, Brian Snitker, went to the pen again, for right-hander Jesse Chavez, against Carter Kieboom, with Soto at third, and Kieboom lined a first-pitch fastball to right for a game-tying RBI single, 3-3.
It was 4-3 in the Braves’ favor when Luke Jackson came on for the seventh and gave up a leadoff double by Luis García, who moved up on an Andrew Stevenson groundout, and scored on a Lane Thomas’ single, 4-4.
Both runners moved up on a wild pitch from Jackson to Juan Soto, on which Stephen Vogt hurt something and left the game. Soto got the intentionals, and the Braves got out No. 2 when Josh Bell hit one back to the mound and off new pitcher Tyler Matzek’s cleat, allowing him to recover it and make a diving toss home for the force. Yadiel Hernández lined out to left in the next at bat to leave’em loaded.
Sam Clay gave up a leadoff single and back-to-back walks to the three batters he faced, at which point he was lifted in favor of Mason Thompson, who came on with the bases full of Braves with no one out and got a grounder to first that started a 3-2-4 double play for outs Nos. 1-2. Ozzie Albies got the intentionals with runners on second and third with two out, and Jorge Soler sent one back to the mound, off Thompson’s glove, and over to second so Luis García could make a glove toss to first for an inning-ending 1-4-3 putout.
García made two nice plays in the field, then stepped up with two down in the top of the eighth and hit a 2-1 fastball from reliever Richard Rodríguez out to center field, 448 feet, to put the Nationals back on top, 5-4. García’s 4th of 2021.
Thompson came back out for the bottom of the eighth inning, and gave up a monster shot of a leadoff home run on a slider down and in to Freddie Freeman who hit it 429 feet out to right and almost into the Chop House to tie it up at 5-5.
Adam Duvall broke up the tie one out later with a solo shot to left field that made it 6-5 in the Braves’ favor.
Trailing by a run, Lane Thomas hit a long fly ball to center to lead off the ninth, and Braves’ center fielder Joc Pederson tracked it to the wall, but dropped the ball, allowing Thomas to speed around to third with a leadoff triple. Alcides Escobar K’d swinging with the tying run at third, so Juan Soto got the intentionals.
Josh Bell stepped in next with runners on first and third and one out and hit a grounder to short that looked like a potential game-ender, but Freddie Freeman dropped a low throw, and Thomas scored on the play to tie it up at 6-6 after eight and a half in Atlanta.
Wander Suero got the ball in the bottom of the ninth and retired the Braves in order to send it to extras.
Jacob Webb stranded the Nationals’ free runner in a scoreless top of the tenth.
Suero came back out for the bottom of the inning and walked Jorge Soler to put two on for Freddie Freeman, who lined out to right to move the free runner (Ozzie Albies) to third, and Austin Riley stepped in next and after Soler moved to second, defensive indifference, Suero hit Riley to load them up. Adam Duvall came up next and fouled strike three into Keibert Ruiz’s glove for out No. 2. Joc Pederson got a two-out opportunity with the bases loaded and won it with a walk-off single.
Final Score: 7-6 Braves
Nationals now 58-82