It took two months of agonizing starts and stops, encouraging moments followed by devastating landslides, series with contenders and series with also rans. But this weekend finally happened: the Nationals He won three games in a row.
It is a modest achievement, without a doubt. But the Nationals were the only team in the Major Leagues that had not yet won consecutive games in 2019. And although it happened against the Marlins who are the worst baseball players, that does not matter too much for a baseball club that simply needs to win all the games you can at this point, elite opponent or not.
"Do not get me wrong: I'm a bad loser, I really do not show it to people," said manager Davey Martinez. "I do not like losing, I do not, so when we win, it's rewarding."
Today's 9-6 victory over Miami was seen as the most crooked of the Nationals' three victories (up to Javy war He left a two-run homer in the eighth and reliever. James Bourque He gave up four runs in the ninth inning in his Major League debut to make it a little more interesting. He arrived after a wild and often ugly win on Friday night 12-10, and then a 5-0 shutout for Patrick Corbin on Saturday afternoon.
"I think we have a good progression underway," said the right-hander. "I think I got somewhere in the 80s today, I will continue like this and I hope that in the next start or in the second, I will return to the most complete possible (and) can let me go as much as I can".
However, that's a small detail of an impressive performance by the right-hander, who is defending a solid case that deserves to remain in the rotation even after Aníbal Sánchez Y Jeremy Hellickson Return of the injured list.
"When we talk to him, we let him know when he's going to pitch," Martinez said. "And then we say: Stick to the plan, he's in a good routine right now, do not worry about the future, just worry about the next game, he's throwing really well now, so let's move on."
Fedde has done a better job getting ahead of the hitters and inducing a weak contact instead of trying to throw perfect shots in search of strikeouts. Relying on his sinker to set batters before he turns to his slider and switches to put them aside, he looks more and more like the complete pitcher that the Nationals have long promoted.
"My job here is to make it so hard for them to send me down," he said. "Whether they want me in the rotation or the pen, I'm happy to help this team win some victories."
Fedde today did a particularly nice job in attacking the area after his teammates gave him an advantage. The Nationals saw Howie Kendrick he leads an initial homer to the center of the right to open the bottom of the second, then opens the floodgates during a lower part of the third of four runs.
The big punches during that rally came from Kendrick (single of two races) and Brian Dozier (double of two races) but what made it possible was From juan soto Before the at-bat. The 20-year-old hitter, who began to look like his sensational 2018 form, was left behind in the 1-2 count against Caleb Smith, but then pulled three fast balls off the plate to draw a two-out walk and load the bases for Kendrick.
"Many of us forget that he is so young", third base Anthony Rendon He said. "It's also very well polished, it's so good, but it's still learning there, and that's a good sign that you can go from 1 to 2 to walk."
That was a series of at-bats the Nationals put together against Smith, who entered with a 2.38 ERA and a growing reputation as one of the best left-handers in the league. But the Nats eliminated him after only three innings. And then they did not face the Marlins bullpen either.
After escaping the wrath of a 24-minute delay by the rain in the middle of the sixth, which included a sudden downpour and even some hail, the Nationals threw the final blow at the bottom of the entrance against the Wei man. Yin Chen. Michael A. Taylor, whose at-bats have been few and far between, they started a double RBI to the right field. Rendón sent a triple off the wall in center field to take home two more runs. And Soto's sacrificial fly completed the four-race rally, extending the Nats' lead to 9-0 and finally putting them in position to secure their first winning streak of the first three games.
"We're putting together some big innings, which is pretty good, in the middle of the game," Dozier said. "And you do that, and you can get a good pitcher like Caleb Smith, who's been throwing the ball really well … if you can get him out of there and get to the bullpen, that's how it all happened." today. We did a good job. "
And now, if they can do a good job again on Monday afternoon, they will have the opportunity of another first of 2019: a sweep of the series, with Max Scherzer on the mound