Patrick Corbin held the Pittsburgh Pirates to one run on four hits over seven innings on the mound last time out before Thursday’s outing, striking out 11 of 25 batters he faced in what ended up a 6-3 loss in which he received no decision.
“He’s pitched well,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said after start No. 3 for Corbin in the first year of his 6-year/$140M deal with Washington’s Nationals.
“Every start he’s kept us in the ballgame. We’re going to get him a win, I know that, so he’s just got to keep going. He’s pitching well, and every five days that he’s out there, we know we’ve got a chance to win.”
Corbin looked sharp again early in the series finale with San Francisco’s Giants on Thursday afternoon in the nation’s capital, retiring nine straight before he issued a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth.
Patrick Corbin, 92mph Fastball and 82mph Slider, Overlay/Trails. pic.twitter.com/TIUkxXl1tJ— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 18, 2019
Corbin kept the Giants hitless through four, but a one-out double ended his nascent no-hit bid with one down in the fifth.
He got through six scoreless with just that one hit allowed, however, and was at 71 pitches overall after an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the sixth, and 83 after a quick, 1-2-3 top of the seventh, with a total of nine Ks from 22 batters faced, six of the strikeouts backwards Ks.
Both manager Bruce Bochy, who got tossed for arguing balls and strikes after Brandon Belt K’d looking on a questionable called third strike low and away (which was not a strike), and Belt himself, the second time he got punched out on a pitch in the same spot in the top of the seventh, had issues with the calls Corbin kept getting, but the southpaw and catcher Yan Gomes took advantage of the zone home plate umpire Ryan Additon was giving him.
Corbin hit the first batter he faced in the eighth, and surrendered his first run on a two-out RBI double by Erik Kratz, who lined the lefty’s 107th pitch to left field to make it a 4-1 game, ending the starter’s outing.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 7.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks, 107 P, 71 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
Patrick Corbin, Disgusting 3 Pitch K (66mph Curveball & 2 Swords on Sliders). ⚔️⚔️ pic.twitter.com/XR3NxtAlm8— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 18, 2019
Kyle Barraclough finished off the eighth and Sean Doolittle handled the ninth, helping to get Corbin his first win in four starts for the Nationals.
“It feels great,” Corbin told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, after earning a Curly-W in the 4-2 win.
“My first win here as a Nat. I just want to continue to build off this and continue to go out there every start and try to give our team a chance to win.”
“He used both sides of the plate,” his manager said when asked about what he saw from the southpaw. “Slider/changeup was really, really good.
“When he can throw strikes on both sides of the plate, he’s tough. He gets ahead of hitters, it makes that slider that much better.”
When he’s getting the outside strikes on left-handed hitters it helps too, and Corbin and his catcher, Yan Gomes took advantage of it.
“100% man, 100%,” Gomes told reporters, acknowledging that each umpire calls things a bit differently, and it’s about adjusting to what’s being called.
The veteran backstop said he was impressed with Corbin’s work against the Giants.
“He really wasn’t giving them any chance to get in any kind of rhythm,” Gomes explained.
“He was picking apart the corners, we were getting calls, I know their guys were getting kind of mad about it, but he was hitting that spot consistently.
“At some point those calls are going to be made and he just kept going right after it.”
“He keeps us in the ballgame,” Martinez reiterated when asked if Corbin’s been as good as expected when he was signed this winter.
“That’s what he does. And he’s been unbelievable. Today he was really, really good.”
“He’s really good,” Doolittle added after earning his second save of the season.
“[Corbin’s] been fun to watch, and I’m happy for him, because he’s pitched really well so far this year and finally gets that first win as a National. He’s deserved at least a couple wins already this year, and to hold that one down for him, in a pretty big game for us as far as — even though it’s April, to get back to even on the homestand, to win a series on getaway day, that was really big for us, he stepped up big time today, that was fun to watch.”