They say football is a game of inches. Well, baseball is a game of numbers then. Baseball keeps track of everything. There are hundreds of statistics compiled each game, for everything imaginable. There once was a day where wins and ERA determined a pitcher’s worth. Not in 2021. We rely on other metrics to put value on a pitcher. And there are dozens of variables at play here. Too many I won’t even pretend to explain them, because I don’t understand them myself.
At the core of the game though, regardless of leverage, ballpark, type of hitter, pitch count, time through the order, situation or shift, a pitcher has to get outs. Plain and simple. Strikeout, groundout, flyout, popout, lineout, whatever the case may be, a pitcher has to get outs.
In the case of Washington Nationals pitcher Erick Fedde, we don’t need all the fancy, new-aged, statistics to tell us where the struggles are. In fact we can go back to the good old earned run average. It doesn’t lie (even if the creators of the statistic FIP tell us it does).
In games Fedde wins, he has an ERA of 0.78. In games he loses he has an ERA of 10.21. Stands to reason, right? When he doesn’t give up runs and the Nationals push enough across, they both walk away winners. There is an even more simplistic way of looking at this.
Nationals pitcher Erick Fedde has been plagued by RISP all season.
Erick Fedde has a 17.21 ERA with runners in scoring position. Opposing hitters are hitting nearly .300 when there are RISP. Basically, if a runner gets to second base against Fedde, he’s going to score.
In his most recent outing against the Braves, five of the seven players who reached second base, ended up scoring against Fedde. He doesn’t strand many runners in scoring position. Tough for a pitcher to pitch deep into games when that happens. Fedde was unable to get out of the fifth inning in fact.
Fedde has come a long ways from his struggles a year ago, and his up and down career to this point. He has a long ways to go, however, and needs to find a way to keep runners from scoring when they reach second base.
Against the Braves he wasn’t hurt by the long ball. He wasn’t hurt by hard hit balls. He was hurt with seeing eye singles and clutch hitting. Unfortunately, this has happened too often this year.
If Erick Fedde wants to stay in games longer and ultimately help the Nats with what’s left of the season, he needs to work on that eye-popping ERA with runners in scoring position.