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Patrick Corbin gives up three solo home runs; strikes out nine in Nationals’ 6-5 loss to Mets

Patrick Corbin put together a solid start in Citi Field, but the three mistakes he made all ended up leaving the yard in the Nationals’ 6-5 loss to the Mets.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin gave up seven hits, two walks, and two earned runs in six innings of work on the mound against the New York Mets last week in the nation’s capital, in his 2019 debut for the Nationals after signing a 6-year/$140M free agent deal this winter.

“My slider felt good today,” he told reporters after the outing against Washington’s NL East rivals, in which he struck out just four of the 26 batters he faced.

“I tried to get ahead of these guys, they’ve been pretty aggressive, some of their hitters, so just tried to make quality pitches, and I thought when I did get in a couple jams there I was able to make pitches.”

Going up against the Mets for the second time in a week on Saturday afternoon, in the Nats’ second game of three in Flushing, Queens, New York’s Citi Field, Corbin struck out seven of the 10 batters he faced over three scoreless innings, but his first pitch in the fourth ended up going out to right-center, with J.D. Davis lining the offering over the outfield wall for a 1-0 Mets’ lead.

Corbin picked up his 9th K (from 20 batters faced) in a 16-pitch fifth that left him at just 69 pitches total on the day, and it was tied at 1-1 when he took the mound in the sixth and had Davis and Michael Conforto take him deep for solo shots that put the Mets back on top, 3-1, snapping a streak of 22 consecutive outings in which the left-hander had avoided giving up more than one home run.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks, 3 HRs, 86 P, 57 S, 4/3 GO/FO.

Corbin’s teammates rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth, but the Nationals’ bullpen struggled again, giving up three more as the Mets rallied to take a 6-5 lead, which held up.

“I felt really good,” Corbin told reporters in Citi Field after the loss. “This could have been a game where I made it to the seventh and shut them out, and the three mistakes I did make, they made me pay for it, just hung a breaking ball there and left a couple fastballs over the middle, but it felt really good other than that, mixed a fastball in and out, threw some good curveballs and good sliders.”

“He was really good,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said in his post game press conference.

“His first two outings he’s been really, really good. We didn’t score any runs early, like I said, we battled back, we scored some points, [Wilmer] Difo with a huge homer, you feel pretty good, after that and then that eighth inning, we’ve got to nail it down and get the ball to [closer Sean] Doolittle.”

Three mistakes by Corbin, and two by Justin Miller, all left the yard as the Mets hit five solo home runs on the day.

“They’re a good hitting team,” Martinez said, “and for me when you get the ball out over the plate and down to some of these guys, they’re going to hit the ball pretty hard. We’ll have to come back, like I said, tomorrow — we’ve got the same guys out in the bullpen, so they’ve got to come back tomorrow and we’ll do it again, and hopefully they can nail it down.”

Corbin was asked if he changed anything up between the two early-season starts against the Mets, who sent pretty much the same lineup out against him.

“It’s kind of similar, I mean, maybe a couple things are different,” Corbin said, “but it’s pretty much the same lineup except the catchers were switched, but those guys in the middle of their lineup there they’ve got some power there if you make mistakes... and they made me pay for it today.”

Conforto, in particular, started the day 5 for 11 with a double and three home runs off Corbin in the head-to-head matchup in their respective careers, and he got the Nats’ lefty again on Saturday, going 1 for 3 against the starter and 2 for 4 overall on the day.

“I’ve just made mistakes,” Corbin said, noting that he left the 1-2 slider Conforto hit out over the middle of the plate.

“I mean that was a breaking ball right down the middle. If I can just locate my pitch I think I can have some success, just credit to him, just taking advantage of a breaking ball that was there to hit, and I just think I was just trying to overthrow it there with two strikes on him so I’ve just got to make a better pitch.”