In his one rehab start, Erick Fedde, in his first outing after landing on the IL on July 30th with inflammation in his right (throwing) shoulder, tossed four scoreless innings for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, walking one and striking out four in a 63-pitch, 37-strike appearance which was shortened by a rain delay.
Washington’s brass saw enough from the 29-year-old, 2014 1st Round pick to bring him up to the majors, and Fedde went five and innings on 81 pitches, 52 strikes, giving up three hits, one a two-run home run, which accounted for the only two runs he gave up in a 4-2 Nationals’ loss to Seattle’s Mariners.
“We had him penciled in for about 80-85 pitches,” manager Davey Martinez said in his post game press conference after the loss. “So he threw the ball well. We talked after he came out and he said he felt great. And once again, we talk a lot about the 0-2s, 2-2s, 3-2s. Once we can clear that up, he can pitch 6-7 innings, you know, but I thought tonight was a great outing for him coming back off the IL, so next time he’ll be stretched out to go maybe 90.”
Fedde held the home team off the board through three, but Jesse Winker singled to start the bottom of the fourth inning, and he scored on a two-run home run to left by Mariners’ outfielder Mitch Haniger, who hit a 2-0 sinker up in the zone 392 feet out for his sixth this season and a 2-0 lead.
“It was a 2-0 [pitch], and I tried to be aggressive down and away,” Fedde said of the big blow in his outing, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the game.
“He’s a really good hitter inside. And when the ball travels to the inside of the plate, they see it for a long time. Bad location on my part, and bad job getting down 2-0.”
Fedde’s curveball was particularly sharp, however. He threw it 23 times (28%) and generated 13 swings and six swinging strikes with it, along with two called strikes.
“It was very sharp, yeah,” Martinez said of Fedde’s breaking ball in Seattle. “He threw it well. That’s something that when he went down on his rehab assignment he tried to throw a lot of them to kind of get it to what he felt like he wanted to do with it.
“So, it was sharp tonight, like I said, he starts throwing that and throwing it for strikes and swings and misses that’s a pretty good pitch.”
Fedde told reporters he was happy with the outing overall for his first start off of the IL:
“I wish I wouldn’t have given up the home run and kept the game tied,” he said. “But overall, I couldn’t be happier with where I am with my stuff. Good improvement. I’m glad I took the time to get healthy and slowly get back. ... I feel like that’s the guy I haven’t been able to be all year.”