Erick Fedde tossed three scoreless to start his 2022 debut, but gave up a leadoff home run in the top of the fourth, and a second run later that inning, in what ended up being a five-inning, 87-pitch outing in the Washington Nationals’ only win in their season-opening, four-game series with the New York Mets.
“The last thing we wanted to do was get swept out of our home series to start the year,” the Nationals’ 29-year-old, 2014 1st Round pick said after Washington’s win, in which their right-hander received no decision, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“I think everyone just feels relieved and glad to get one on the proper side of the column.”
“I thought Fedde did well, I really did,” Davey Martinez told reporters in the manager’s post-game press conference.
“He cruised through the first couple innings, and then his pitch count got really high. He threw 30 pitches in the fourth inning, and so that was kind of — we kept an eye on him, but like I said, he threw the ball well. It’s going to be — I’m watching these guys, and for whatever they were built up, but it’s different, it really is, I mean, only three weeks of Spring Training. They’re going out, and now all of a sudden, now the bell rings, and they’re competing at the highest level, they’re trying to make pitches, so we got to keep an eye on what they’re doing, and their workload, so we were trying to get Fedde to 85/90 pitches.
“He got there, I think it was 87 he finished up with, but we were hoping — I thought, the way he was going, I told [pitching coach Jim] Hickey, ‘Man, if he keeps going like that, he might give us six strong.’ Which would have been great.”
“But he did exactly what he needed to do,” Martinez added. “But the biggest thing is he kept us in the ballgame, which was awesome.”
“It’s tough; I think in the spring I only threw 70 pitches, maybe, in a game,” Fedde said. “But the goal is to go as deep as possible and give the ’pen as much rest as we could.”
In start No. 2 of 2022, Fedde took on the Pittsburgh Pirates last night in PNC Park, tossing a scoreless first, after getting a 2-0 lead to work with in the top of the inning, and coming out for the second up 3-0, and giving up two walks, two singles, and two runs, in a long, 36-pitch frame which pushed him up to 47 total after two, and cut the Nationals’ lead down to one, 3-2.
One run in the fourth and another in the fifth gave Fedde a three-run cushion, however, and he got through a 20-pitch bottom of the fifth, which left at 96 pitches overall on the night in what ended up a 7-2 win.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 96 P, 59 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
“Fedde struggled an inning there just by the walks,” Martinez said after the win over the Bucs.
“We just got to reiterate every day, ‘Don’t give them free passes. Make them earn it.’ But he did a good job and he gave us five innings and we tacked on some more runs.”
When he was asked about Fedde’s pitch mix, after watching him throw 35% curveballs, 30% sinkers, 29% cutters, and 5% changeups, Martinez said he would like to see the starter stick with what’s worked for him to this point in his career.
“For me, I told him, hey, when the game is like that, and we jump out like that — for me, his best pitch is a cutter, right?” Martinez asked rhetorically. “Utilize your cutter, get ahead with your cutter, and then start — but your first two innings you’re throwing your whole arsenal at them, just go out there and throw strikes, but use your cutter, I mean, your cutter is your best. Like I said, he has been here for quite some time, I want him to understand who he is and what he can do, and I know it’s part of the process, but he’s got to start getting it. And I know that he can pitch 5-6 innings, 80 pitches or so, so we got to get him there. That was a lot of pitches for him in five innings, but he managed through.
“So, but then again, I told him, I’ll go back and look at everything tonight and see where we can clean up some areas, you know, and then come back tomorrow and talk to him about it.
“But for him, it’s all about attacking the strike zone.”