With top prospects Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom generating much of the buzz for the Nationals, Erick Fedde put forth a historic reminder that he's still a name to watch Thursday.
The Washington right-hander fired six hitless frames, combining with two others on Double-A Harrisburg's first no-hitter in nearly six years en route to a 2-0 win over Bowie at Prince George's Stadium. Fedde struck out five and walked one before giving way to Jordan Mills and Aaron Barrett, who finished off the Minors' first no-no this season.
Video: Barrett finishes no-hitter for Harrisburg
The feat marked the fifth no-hitter in club history and the first since Paul Denny and Ian Krol combined to blank Binghamton on May 9, 2013.
"I didn't even notice what was going on until the ninth inning," Harrisburg pitching coach Michael Tejera said. "I was focused on the usual things a pitching coach does and I never really glanced at the scoreboard or overheard anything in the dugout. I'm sure the guys knew what was going on, but I didn't."
2019 Minor League milestones
Fedde (1-0) worked around a two-out walk in the first inning -- his only free pass of the game -- by recording three strikeouts in the frame. He punched out two more batters and faced one over the minimum through his final five innings before leaving the game after throwing 50 of 79 pitches for strikes.
"He was awesome out there," Tejera said. "He was able to repeat his delivery and really focused on pitching inside, which he did well. That made his slider to right-handers more effective. In monitoring his pitches today compared to his first start, it was obvious he had much better command and was locating to both sides [of the plate]. A lot of that stems from his success going inside."
Video: Fedde finishes six hitless frames
Mills issued one free pass in his two frames and Barrett notched his second save of the year with a clean ninth, fanning one. The right-hander induced a groundout from top Orioles prospect Yusniel Diaz to complete the no-hitter. Like Fedde, Barrett has Major League experience. The 31-year-old was a key cog in the Nats' bullpen in 2014, when he compiled a 2.66 ERA in 50 relief appearances. He made 40 more the next season before a pair of major arm injuries cost him two full years. He began his comeback last year with Class A Short Season Auburn before earning a late-season promotion to Harrisburg.
Tejera loves what he's seen from his staff through the first eight games. The Senators have posted a 3.04 ERA during their 7-1 start.
Gameday box score
"The guys are very close and always pulling for each other. That chemistry is already there and plays a big part in our success so far," the former Major Leaguer said. "One guy does great and hands it off to the next. Our defense has been solid too, which certainly helps our guys out. Everything is moving in the right direction."
For Fedde, it was a bounceback performance after he surrendered five runs in five innings against Bowie on Saturday. The 26-year-old went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 11 starts in the Majors last season before shoulder soreness sent him to the injured list on July 4. He made three rehab starts in the Minors but did not pitch again in the bigs.
2019 MiLB include
"Erick's healthy right now, which is the most important thing," Tejera said. "He's been through some injuries in his career, but he's looking good so far. I know pitching in the bigs the last few years has helped him with his preparation, concentration and what he needs to do. He's got the stuff to be successful in the Majors. He throws an above-average slider and has a mid-90s fastball. His pitches and his consistency in his delivery are there. For him, it's all about commanding the baseball. Once he gets that down, he'll be ready to shine up there."
Rhett Wiseman contributed an RBI single and finished with three hits. Drew Ward lofted a sacrifice fly to open the scoring in the first.
Marcos Molina (0-2) surrendered two runs -- one earned -- over six innings. The Baysox right-hander scattered seven hits and two walks while striking out three.