Fedde bats lead-in 15-3 win despite losing Strasburg to injury early
BALTIMORE – It was a long day of baseball for the Nationals at Camden Yards, the Nationals not only lost the first part of a doubleheader 6-2 finishing a suspended game from Sunday due to a tarp mishap but also in the process lost Starlin Castro to a broken right wrist landing him on the 10-day injured list forcing the call up of 20- year old star prospect Luis Garcia to make his MLB debut in the nightcap of the doubleheader. You think the bad news for the Nationals would stop there right?
Well, not quite as in the bottom of the first inning after serving up a towering solo home run to Anthony Santander that gives the Orioles an early 1-0 lead Stephen Strasburg exited the game with the same right-hand injury that sidelined him at the start of the season. Strasburg who looked off the entire inning was constantly favoriting his right hand while losing his command and after falling behind 2-0 to cleanup hitter Rio Ruiz enough was enough for Davey Martinez.
“I was watching him,” Martinez said. “Honestly, I didn’t like what I saw.”
Martinez along with director of athletic training Paul Lessard came out of the dugout to check on their 245 million dollar ace and after a brief discussion pulled Strasburg after only 16 pitches Strasburg declined to comment after the game looking for answers on his injury and a plan for his recovery. The Nationals will surely need to be more careful with their 245-million-dollar ace in a shorten season and not pitch him again until he’s 100 percent healthy.
“We really need to look at this very closely and see what happens the next few days,” Martinez said. “I’m not going to run him out there like that. He was upset. He wanted to be out there. But I’m not going to see him go through that. He’s one of our best. To see him gut it out like that, I appreciated it, we all did. But we have to take care of him.”
Strasburg exit meant another test for an already taxed bullpen starting with emergency relief man Erick Fedde who stepped up and put together a brilliant outing of 5 1/3 scoreless innings when the Nationals needed it most.
“When you get that opportunity, just look at it as try to be efficient, help the guys out in the bullpen and go as far as I could,” Fedde said. “Actually, I felt pretty good. I guess that’s uncharted territory for me, in a sense. I definitely wasn’t expecting 5 1/3, but luckily, I was able to be really efficient and get through that.”
Behind Fedde’s outing, the Nationals offense who just a week ago struggled against Tommy Milone being shutout for six innings did much better this time around taking a 2-1 lead in the second inning off a Yan Gomes hustle triple.
And the Nationals offense did not stop there. The third inning featured four singles including Garcia’s first career major league hit to help produce three more runs. After adding on another run in the fourth inning via a sacrifice fly from Asdrúbal Cabrera to make the score 6-1. Cabrera continued his hot streak against lefties leading off the inning with a solo home run extending the lead to 7-1.
It was in the eighth inning where the Nationals offense really exploded putting together a six-run inning highlighted by García’s first career double and two RBIs to put the finishing touches on a long day full of ups and downs leaving Martinez satisfied.
“We lose our starting second baseman and half a game, and then Stephen goes down. But you know what, it ended up very good. We got a victory. We’ll come back tomorrow and do it again.”