Déjà vu: Nats' 3rd shutout features familiar cast of characters

June 22nd, 2022

BALTIMORE -- Nearly one month had passed since the Nationals recorded their last shutout. On May 25, , Carl Edwards Jr., Kyle Finnegan and Tanner Rainey quieted the Dodgers, 1-0.

On Tuesday, the Nats opened their two-game series against the Orioles with a 3-0 shutout win at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The pitchers: Fedde, Edwards, Finnegan and Rainey. 

“To me, [a shutout] means a great game,” manager Dave Martinez said. “But it’s more about the players, about Fedde, about giving these guys some confidence, about our bullpen coming in in a moment like that and doing their job.”

Like in that game against Los Angeles, Fedde set the tone on Tuesday with six innings before the bullpen took care of the rest. He struck out four and allowed two hits and a walk across 97 pitches. The right-hander improved to .500 on the season (5-5, 4.46 ERA).

“It’s awesome,” said Fedde. “Any time you take six scoreless, I’ll sign up for that.”

Finnegan threw the seventh in Baltimore and Edwards the eighth whereas the pitching order was swapped in the previous shutout -- a decision based on matchups. The trio of relievers combined for six strikeouts, two hits and zero walks. Rainey earned his eighth save of the year.

“It’s just nice to be rewarded for how Fedde started the game -- unbelievable job by him -- and then the bullpen came in and did their job,” Finnegan said. “We’ve been busting our butts all year long. … Shutouts are great. It’s a really tough league, those are good hitters. Any time you can put up a zero for nine innings, you should feel good about it.”

The Nats entered Tuesday having been outscored by 46 runs since their last shutout, the second-largest differential among National League teams during that stretch. But there has been a recent turnaround -- Fedde joined and as the third consecutive starter to not allow an earned run. It’s a trend the rotation would like to see continue.

“It’s important, especially here as it gets harder as the season gets going,” Fedde said. “I said it right when I came in today … [Patrick] Corbin’s up next, so I said, ‘Don’t mess it up, dude, because we’ve got a good one going.’”

Corbin (3-9, 6.59 ERA) will take the mound on Wednesday in the two-game series finale looking for his first career win in Baltimore. The Nats, who appeared refreshed coming off their first off-day in 13 days (14 games), will aim to extend their winning streak to three games before departing to play the Rangers.

“For me, a win’s a win,” Martinez said. “But when you come out like that and you win a ballgame like that, especially the first game of a series, it kind of sets a precedent. So I’m happy we were able to come out and play good, all-around baseball. We really did today. So let’s come back tomorrow and do the same thing.”