“I really felt like I just had one pitch for the most part, and it was my cutter,” Erick Fedde told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, after throwing five scoreless against LA’s Angels in Anaheim last week, giving up just two hits, but walking five batters in the 97-pitch turn in the Washington Nationals’ rotation.
Fedde, 29, said the fact that he got through five scoreless without his best stuff helped to build some confidence.
“If anything, it gives me more confidence just to have a lot of success with [the cutter],” he said.
“Just one of those ones where it’s the difference in a bad outing or a good one, being able to make the pitches when I needed to. The walks suck, but I’ll take the [zeroes] any day.”
The five scoreless innings left the 2014 1st Round pick with a 3.90 ERA, a 4.19 FIP, 15 walks, 26 Ks, and a .246/.328/.360 line against in six starts and 30 IP on the year.
Start No. 7 of 2022 began with a quick, four-pitch swinging K, but he walked three Astros in a row after that as Houston loaded the bases with one out in the opening frame, but he got a 6-3 DP on a grounder back up the middle off Kyle Tucker’s bat, and wiggled out of trouble in a 22-pitch top of the first.
Fedde retired eight of nine after the drama in the first, but Kyle Tucker reached second on a pop to right-center neither Victor Robles or Juan Soto could see, and then scored on a Yuli Gurriel single in the next at-bat to get the Astros on the board, down 4-1, in the top of the fourth. Gurriel scored on a single by Aldemys Diaz, who connected for the third straight hit, 4-2, though the Nats’ starter held it there.
It was a 7-2 game in the Nationals’ favor when Jose Siri hit a 2-2 curve out to center for a 427 foot leadoff home run in the top of the fifth, 7-3. Siri’s 2nd.
That was it for Fedde...
Erick Fedde’s Line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 82 P, 46 S, 2/2 GO/FO.
Soto Smokes Another:
Juan Soto hit a 96 MPH first-pitch fastball up in the zone from Astros’ righty Cristian Javier 361 feet to right, at 104 MPH off the bat, for a one-out double in the bottom of the first, for his 7th two-base hit of the year, and then, after Nelson Cruz took a two-out free pass, Soto scored from second base on a Yadiel Hernández single to center field that brought in the first run of the game for either team in the second of three with the ‘Stros in D.C., 1-0 Nats after one.
Soto walked in his second trip to the plate in the third, and Cruz singled with two down, so Hernández stepped in with two on again and hit a 1-0 slider up in the zone out to right field for a 357-foot, three-run home run and a 4-0 lead. No. 3 of 2022 for Hernández — 2 for 2, 4 RBIs.
Dee Strange-Gordon hustled to first on a swinging bunt toward first base, and beat Astros’ first baseman Yuli Gurriel to the bag, sliding in headfirst for a hit. Victor Robles bunted for his own hit in the next at-bat, then César Hernández bunted both runners over/gave up an out, bringing Juan Soto up, but starter Cristian Javier walked Soto to get to Josh Bell, who popped out to short right, leaving it up to Nelson Cruz, who lined a 379-foot, 112-MPH line drive double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right to clear the bases and make it 7-3 Nats.
Cruz’s three-run double knocked the Astros’ starter out of the game, and Phil Maton got out No. 3 of the Nationals’ fourth.
Back on the mound in the home-half of the fifth, Maton gave up a leadoff single by Keibert Ruiz, and a two-run shot to center by Maikel Franco, who crushed a first-pitch slider up at shoulder-level for his 3rd of the 2022 campaign, 9-3 Nationals.
Steve Cishek came on for the Nats in the sixth, up by six, and gave up one-out and back-to-back, two-out singles which loaded the bases with Astros before Michael Brantley drove in two with the fourth hit of the inning off the reliever, 9-4, but Alex Bregman K’d looking at a 1-2 fastball to end the threat.
Josh Bell (1 for 4) and Nelson Cruz (3 for 3, BB) connected for back-to-back singles to start the Nationals’ sixth, with Astros’ righty Blake Taylor on the mound, and Yadiel Hernandez’s groundout moved both runners up. Keibert Ruiz stepped in next, and Bell scored on a wild pitch/passed ball which allowed him to hustle in from third, 10-4, and 11-4 on an RBI double by Maikel Franco. Victor Robles drove in two more with a line drive single to left, 13-4.
Carl Edwards, Jr. worked around a two-out double for a scoreless seventh.
Tanner Rainey got some work in the eighth and had a missed catch in left field by Yadiel Hernández lead to some trouble as the Astros tried to make game of it, scoring two, 13-6.
Erasmo Ramírez got the ninth, and worked around a single and hit-by-pitch for a scoreless frame. Ballgame.
Nationals now 12-23