Nationals right-hander Erick Fedde will attempt to continue his mastery of the Miami Marlins on Wednesday in the second game of a three-game set in Washington.
The 29-year-old right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.43 ERA in seven career starts against Miami. The four wins are his highest total against any major league team, and the ERA is his lowest against any team he has faced more than twice.
Behind six strong innings from Sandy Alcantara on Tuesday, Miami beat Washington 5-2 for its third straight win. The Nationals have lost six consecutive contests, the longest active skid in the National League.
Fedde is probably thrilled the Marlins are in town because he is off to a slow start, 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA through three starts. In his most recent outing, he was battered for seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings during an 11-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 20.
Miami will counter Fedde with right-hander Pablo Lopez, who is off to a sensational start with a 2-0 record and a National League-leading 0.52 ERA.
Lopez’s fastball runs about 94 mph, but he lives off his changeup, which has tremendous sink against most batters.
However, the Nationals are not Lopez’s favorite opponent. In nine career starts against Washington, Lopez is 3-2 with a 5.12 ERA. In five starts at Washington, Lopez is 1-1 with a 5.70 ERA.
Over his past two outings, Lopez tossed a combined 12 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out 11 and walking two. Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings, who won a Gold Glove with the Pirates last year, has caught all three of Lopez’s starts this season.
The Marlins are also thrilled with the acquisition of infielder Joey Wendle in a November trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Wendle celebrated his 32nd birthday in a big way on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, a walk, a steal and two runs.
He is batting .362 this season while starting at third base and shortstop, manning the latter position in recent days with Miguel Rojas sidelined due to flu-like symptoms.
“We’re versatile,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of his squad. “I like when our whole club is part of it and everyone is in the mix.”
Mattingly is also getting solid work from center fielder Jesus Sanchez, who has an .875 OPS and threw a runner out at the plate on Tuesday.
Washington’s offense was largely quiet in the series opener aside from Juan Soto. He had the team’s only extra-base hit, a double, drew two walks and scored two runs.
Nationals left fielder Yadiel Hernandez went 1-for-4 with an RBI on Tuesday. He is batting .324 on the season.
“He can hit,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said.
Hernandez, though, has remained humble. After all, he has started just 10 of Washington’s 19 games this year.
“I know my role on this team,” Hernandez said. “I know I’m not going to play that often. But when I do play, I have to be ready. I do everything possible to prepare.”
–Field Level Media