Erick Fedde was on his way to a nice month of May, with a 1.95 ERA, a 3.92 FIP and a stingy .208/.304/.327 line against in five starts and 27 2⁄3 innings pitched before a disaster of a 1 1⁄3-inning outing against New York’s Mets in which he gave up eight hits and six runs on the road in New York’s Citi Field.
In three starts in June, the 29-year-old, 2014 1st Round pick had been up and down, with a 5.74 ERA, a 4.34 FIP, and a .295/.371/.361 line against in three starts and 15 2⁄3 IP before last night’s outing against the Orioles in Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
While his manager, Davey Martinez, praised Fedde’s effort in a 5 1⁄3-inning, 111-pitch outing against Atlanta last week in D.C., he also said the starter needs to put hitters away when he gets to two strikes, to limit the number of pitches he’s throwing, and extend his starts a bit deeper than he’s been going throughout the first three months.
“He’s got to understand that his stuff is good,” Martinez explained, “but he’s got to get more competitive with two strikes, and get the ball closer to the zone. He throws a lot of non-competitive pitches with two strikes, and like I said, guys at this level, they’re not going to chase those kind of pitches. They’re going to chase the ball up and down. Side to side, they very rarely chase, but he’s got to be around the plate a little bit better.”
How’d he do against the O’s? Fedde tossed six scoreless in which he gave up just two hits, limiting the walks (to one), and striking out four in a 97-pitch appearance in a 3-0 win.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 97 P, 59 S, 6/4 GO/FO.
Fedde generated just five swinging strikes on the night, and Orioles’ hitters fouled of a total of 26 pitches, but he was relatively efficient, and gave the Nationals a boost with six innings of solid work. He did get 11 called strikes on the night, five on his sinker, two with his curve, and four with his cutter.
“Fedde, he attacked the strike zone, he got ahead, still, as I talked to him after he came out, it’s that put-away pitch,” Martinez said after the Nationals’ second straight win.
“We got to get him better at that, work on it, that he doesn’t have to try to be too fine, just make the next pitch and try to get out three pitches or less, and when does that he’s going to give us seven innings, or eight innings, which is great. But he did well.”
“Anytime I can take six scoreless, I’ll sign up for that,” Fedde said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“I wish - I feel like I said the same thing last start - I could just stop wasting pitches. But I’ll still take six, no matter what.”
Martinez, avoiding seeming overly critical, added that overall Fedde gave the club a great start.
“He got ahead of a lot of hitters tonight, fell behind 2-2, 3-2, but when he needed to throw a strike, he threw a strike,” Martinez said.