Before Saturday's contest between the Nationals and the San Francisco Giants, Nationals pitcher Erick Fedde hadn't seen the mound since May 16 when he tested positive for the coronavirus despite being vaccinated earlier this season.
After what was surely a frustrating stay on the coronavirus-related injured list, the 28-year-old right-hander got the nod to start the game and led the Nationals to a 2-0 victory in Game 1 of the split doubleheader at Nationals Park. Not only that, he struck out 7 batters and allowed four hits in five innings.
Fedde's absence marked the first COVID case in the Nationals clubhouse since the beginning of the season when an outbreak forced the team to start the season without nine players.
"I'm more thankful I didn't pass it around the team," he told reporters after the game.
Fedde said he was shocked by the positive test. "Obviously I'm not a scientist," he said, "but I was vaccinated and I felt great. It was unfortunate."
The misfortune was exacerbated by the fact that Fedde, who remained asymptomatic since the positive test, had missed multiple rehab games due to inclement weather, further extending his absence. Nonetheless, following a 1-0 loss to the Giants on Friday, he and the Nationals were relieved to see him pick up where he left off.
The Nationals take on the Giants again on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET and close out the four-game series at home Sunday.