Looking at numbers like this can, of course, be misleading, given all the roster turnover and the differences year-to-year with even divisional rivals, but going into last night’s matchup Nationals’ starter Erick Fedde had a (4-0) record, 1.43 ERA, and a .177/.243/.302 line against in seven starts and 37 2⁄3 IP against the Miami Marlins in his career.
“Yeah, I don’t know how that works,” Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s The Sports Junkies on Wednesday, when asked about Fedde’s numbers against the Fish.
“It seems some guys just have a great success against certain teams offensively or pitching-wise, and we’ve had great success against the Marlins, who’ve been a great organization, a good rival for us for years when they had the [Giancarlo] Stantons and that group of guys, and I think over the last 10-12 years we’re like 100-61 against them in the last 161 games or so, so we’ve taken it to them pretty good, but they’ve got a good, young pitching staff, and they’re a team that’s on the rise, so Erick is going to have his work cut out for him.”
Fedde came into the second game of three with the Marlins in D.C. looking to bounce back after he got knocked around in his previous outing, giving up eight hits, a walk, and seven runs, six earned, over just 3 1⁄3 innings on the mound in what ended up being an 11-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“He couldn’t — they didn’t swing and miss,” Davey Martinez said of Fedde’s outing against the D-backs. “He threw a lot of pitches. Pitch count got up to 80 in 3 1⁄3 innings. Some balls he left up were hit hard, and then they fouled off a lot of pitches and they put the ball in play, so I told Fedde, ‘Hey, look, let’s forget about this one and move forward. I mean, they had good at-bats against him.”
“He’s been inconsistent,” Rizzo said of the early returns on Fedde’s ‘22 season, “... but he’s flashed some really good signs of being a good starting pitcher for us, he’s improved that cut fastball — for him to kind of get out those left-handed hitters, and I think he’s going to have another good night against the Fish tonight.”
Fedde worked around a single and two walks in a scoreless first, with a caught stealing to erase the first runner to reach base before he stranded the two walks, and he retired 12 of the next 13 batters, with the one hit a solo home run by Jesús Aguilar, before a two-out hit and walk in the fifth ended his outing...
Erick Fedde’s Line: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 91 P, 55 S, 5/1 GO/FO.
Fedde generated just seven swings and misses, two with his sinker, and five with his curve, but he recorded 19 called strikes, eight with his sinker, 10 with his curve, and one with his cutter, and he has 18 of his 91 pitches fouled off by Marlins’ hitters, who got his pitch count up and knocked him out relatively early.
“He got a lot of foul offs,” Martinez said after the club’s seventh straight loss. “What I did notice tonight, when he got to two strikes, he tried to hump up and throw that really nasty pitch, and I talked a little bit when he came out of the game just about not doing that, just stay within yourself and make a good pitch. I always say, when the hitter is 0-2, it becomes a different at-bat for him, so just make a good pitch, don’t try to make the turbo pitch, and you might get out of those situations in 3-4 pitches. He seems like, 0-2, the next pitch he tries to throw as wild as he can and it’s wild, and the next pitch he tries to throw the turbo curveball or slurve, whatever he calls it and it’s not effective.
“So I said, ‘Just stay within yourself, and like I said, you work really hard to get to that spot, and then you get the hitters right back in good hitters’ counts, so just try not to just do too much in those situations, but you’re going to be fine. I thought he battled really well today, just his pitch count got up there fairly quickly, a lot because of foul balls, a lot because, like I said, he was 0-2 to [2-2, 3-2], but he battled — so hopefully he learned today by some of the little things, and he comes out [in five days] and he gives us six strong innings with 90 pitches or so.”