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The Morning Briefing: Nationals Split Small Series with Blue Jays: Small ball win 8-2


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Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball headlines, news and the latest news for April 29, 2021

Good Thursday Morning, Washington Nationals Fans. Thank you for starting the day with us. 

Upcoming Games:

  • Friday, April 30, 2021, Miami Marlins v. Washington Nationals, 7:05 pm EDT
  • Saturday, May 1, 2021, Miami Marlins v. Washington Nationals 1:05 pm EDT
  • Sunday, May 2, 2021, Miami Marlins v. Washington Nationals 1:05 pm EDT
  • Tuesday, May 4, 2021, Atlanta Braves v. Washington Nationals 7:05 pm EDT 

Richard wrote today’s Morning Briefing.

Today’s Top Story:  Nationals Split Small Series with Blue Jays: Small ball win 8-2

The Nationals continued their series at TD Ballpark yesterday after a loss to the Blue Jays in the first game of the series. Solid pitching and a stronger offensive performance needed to be dealt with after their first game with the Blue Jays, and the final 8-2 score showed improvement. The Nationals offense was explosive in the early going of the game and, without seeing a long ball from the lineup, proved that small ball wins games.  

Erick Fedde got the start for The Nationals last night and has had a good start to the 2021 season with a 4.43 ERA through 4 games pitched and giving up 18 hits on the season thus far. Last night was a great outing for the 2017 first-round draft pick as Fedde pitched for 5 scoreless innings out of the 6 that he pitched. Striking out 7 of the 23 batters faced, and only allowing 2 hits with one earned run, you can’t ask much more from a starting pitcher. With a commanding presence on the mound, the Nationals were able to tack on more insurance runs throughout the earlier innings.  

The Nationals Bullpen was also notable. After Fedde was taken out in the 6th inning, the Nationals would allow very little from the powerful bats of the Blue Jays. Together, the bullpen allowed only 1 earned run and 1 hit, allowing Fedde to get the win for The Nationals.  Trea Turner coming out of an impressive 2-4 night with 2 home runs in the first game in the series against the Blue Jays, he showed us once again last night why he is the Nationals best hitter right now. Turner bolstered offensive production by hitting 4 for 5 last night- allowing for Josh Harrison and Ryan Zimmerman behind him to send him home to score one time each.

Though the Nationals played more small-ball last night, the long ball was not absent. Josh Bell’s only hit of the night was a 2-run homer to left-center field and Josh Harrison also hit the long ball for his only hit of the night. We saw much more from the middle and bottom of the Nationals lineup last night with Victor Robles and Josh Bell hitting 1-3 but the majority of the offense continues to be found at the top of the line-up card. 

It was a wonderful outing for The Nationals last night, able to split the series 1-1 with the Blue Jays. The Nationals have an off day today before coming back home to begin a 3 game homestand against the Marlins on April 30 with the first pitch at 7:05 pm. After the split series between the Blue Jays, the Nationals are now 9-12. 

Go NATS! Don’t forget to Go 1-0 Today!

Fedde excited about his success with the cutter; learning from Max Scherzer

An interesting tidbit that came out of the post-game Zoom press conference with reporters after the game. Many noticed during the game that Fedde was throwing his cutter over his six scoreless innings. Last night,  Fedde threw his cutter 33 times (34% of his pitches), and got six swinging and six called strikes with the pitch, which he’s leaning on more than ever recently. Which led reporters to ask both Davey Martinez and Erick Fedde about why his cutter has been successful. “I had everything pretty much working, especially the cutter,” Fedde said. “Cutter was really good today. I was able to keep — I thought this team was very aggressive, especially watching them go against Max [Scherzer], so I thought I needed something that resembled a fastball to get strikes early in the count, and I think that played a big role.”

Fedde was excited about his success with the cutter in particular, later in the Zoom Press Conference, Fedde mentioned his success with the cutter and moving forward: “I think today it was that sharp,” he said. “I think it’s been a good mix as well. If guys have to sit on my sinker as well as that, it’s going to be tough picking the ball to go either away from them or into them.”

Davey Martinez mentioned Fedde’s cutter in his own comments after the game and has also noticed the improvement over the his past year, “With the cutter and the sinker the combination is really good because he works both sides of the plate. “Today he threw a lot of curveballs. I don’t know how many he threw, but I know it’s up in the teens somewhere, and it was effective for him as well.” Martinez went on to mention how effective Fedde can be in the long term for the Nationals and at the mound: “When he can get all those pitches in the strike zone, man, as you can see he’s real tough to hit.”

Thank YOU!! The Nats Report in the Top 10 of Nationals Websites according to Feedspot  

Yesterday before the game, I received an email from Feedspot mentioning that The Nats Report is in the top 10 of Washington Nationals Blogs. 

Feedspot has put together the most comprehensive list of Top 10 Washington Nationals Blogs on the internet and the Nats Report comes in at number 9.  

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