Erick Fedde opened the season with some inconsistent starts.
Recently, he has been one of the best pitchers in the National League.
The Washington right-hander will look to extend his scoreless streak of 20 innings when the Nationals complete a two-game series against the host Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday afternoon.
Fedde (4-4, 3.33 ERA) take the mound for his 11th start of the year. He is 2-5 with a 5.28 ERA in nine career games, eight starts, against the Phillies.
“Two things that stick out, one, his confidence, and two his ability to throw all four of his pitches when he wants to and throw strikes. That’s huge,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said of Fedde.
Fedde’s surge has helped to catapult the Nationals back into contention in the NL East. They are now searching for their fourth win in a row and a series sweep.
“A lot of my career has been being called up for somebody being down, and I think this is the first time I can really say I feel like I fulfilled that role,” Fedde said. “So for me that’s part of self-accomplishment, something I’m happy with.”
Yan Gomes singled twice and drove in two runs and Juan Soto had two hits and two runs for Washington in a 3-2 win Tuesday.
Before the game, the Nationals placed right-hander Kyle Finnegan on the 10-day injured list due to a left hamstring strain.
“Hopefully we get him back fairly soon,” Martinez said. “He’s going to take a few days off to get treatment, then he’ll get right back in it and start going again, and we’ll see where we’re at.”
After losing four of six games on their West Coast trip to the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, the Phillies will now hope to split the current series with the Nationals.
The Phillies managed only six hits on Tuesday, but they did get solo home runs from Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins.
“When we got guys on base, we weren’t able to hit the home run,” said Phillies manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected Tuesday after a spat with Nationals starter Max Scherzer over a perceived foreign substance. “Just a tough night.”
The Phillies have had issues all season with runners in scoring position. In addition, they have struggled on defense.
“We’re all grown men, we all know what we need to do,” said Philadelphia starter Zach Eflin, who gave up a career-high-tying four home runs in his latest start against the Giants. “We’ve got to show up every day, prepared and ready to go. There’s not a guy in the clubhouse that’s not doing that.
“We play 162 games, man. Stuff like this is going to happen. It happened earlier in the year, too. We’ve just got to keep fighting and charge forward. Good things are going to happen.”
The Phillies will send Vince Velasquez (2-2, 4.44 ERA) to the mound for his 11th start. Over Velasquez’s last four starts, he has posted a 7.88 ERA.
In 10 career games, nine starts, against the Nationals, Velasquez is 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA.
In Velasquez’s start against the Giants on Friday, he struggled with his command and even walked pitcher Johnny Cueto. It was Cueto’s first walk since June 3, 2017.
“That’s just unnecessary,” said Velasquez, who yielded four runs in four innings. “I have to get that guy out. Cueto is not going to get on by bunting or hitting. I have to get that guy out. It’s just a mandatory out.”
–Field Level Media