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Erick Fedde struggles through another outing; command an issue for Nationals’ starter again...

Erick Fedde did what he could, but threw 82 pitches in 4+ innings pitched in the Nationals’ win on Saturday...

Houston Astros v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

“He was a bit erratic,” Davey Martinez said after Erick Fedde tossed five scoreless on 97 total pitches, giving up just two hits, but five walks, in what ended up being a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in which Fedde received no decision.

“But you know what?” Martinez asked reporters, rhetorically. “Once again, Fedde showed some maturity. He stayed with it, he threw pitches when he had to, he made good pitches when he had to, and he was smart. He pitched smart when he had to.

“He came in, he wasn’t happy, but I told him, ‘Hey, you gave us five, five good innings, and I know it wasn’t what you wanted, but I thought you did a great job and I thought again you showed a lot more maturity this outing as well.”

“It was a grind the whole day,” Fedde said after he finished his 6th start of the season with a 3.90 ERA, a 4.19 FIP, 15 walks, 26 Ks, and a .246/.328/.360 line against in 30 IP on the year.

Houston Astros v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

“I really felt like I just had one pitch for the most part, and it was my cutter,” he explained, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman. “If anything, it gives me more confidence just to have a lot of success with it. 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.”

Three straight one-out walks in the opening frame against the Houston Astros on Saturday night did kind of suck too, but Fedde got a 6-3 DP to get himself out of the early jam, and the 29-year-old starter held the visitors off the board through three in the nation’s capital, before a fly to right-center fell in for a hit when both Victor Robles and Juan Soto lost it in the twilight sky.

Kyle Tucked was gifted a double, and he scored on an RBI double by Yuli Gurriel, who came around on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz, as the Astros put two up after falling behind 4-0.

A third run scored on a leadoff home run by Jose Siri in the fifth, but the Nationals were up 7-3 when Fedde was lifted from the game...

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.

Fedde did record 12 swinging strikes, spread across four pitches, and 13 called strikes, eight with his sinker.

What was going on with the 29-year-old right-hander?

“I don’t know,” Martinez said after the game. “I mean, he was just — he couldn’t repeat his delivery for me, he couldn’t throw consistent strikes, and then when he did it was too much of the plate, and then the walks. So, when you walk that many guys, and like I said, he labored every inning. And [Pitching Coach Jim] Hickey and I were watching him and we thought at one point about the third inning we might have to get him, but he got some outs, but like I said, kudos to him, you can see the maturity where he’s fighting, trying to keep going, but I went out there to the mound, talked to him, and I said, ‘Hey, I appreciate everything you’ve done, but it’s a lot of pitches, and you had some high-leverage from the first pitch of the game, and he got it.

MLB: Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“Hopefully he bounces back in five days, but you know what, he gave us a chance to win the game.”

“It’s just one of those days for Fedde,” Martinez said at another point.

“But he battled, he really did. He got out of the first inning with a double play, but then it was a struggle every inning after that.”

“I put myself in a bad situation,” Fedde said of the rough outing. “Lately all those walks are not really conducive to being successful, but being able to get out of it has been nice, and hopefully can trend better in the right direction of not having to get out of stuff.”

Asked to diagnose his own struggles with his command in the last few starts, Fedde said he has been pressing a bit, but doing what he needed to in order to get through his outings.

“I’ve been grinding a bit just over the last couple weeks of feeling really right, and maybe trying to overdo things to try to feel perfect, and sometimes it just leads to missing my spots, but like I said, I’ve been happy with really being able to make the pitch when I have to.”