Patrick Corbin followed up on a complete game shutout and perhaps his best start of the season, with his worst outing, a 2 2⁄3-inning start against Cincinnati’s Reds in Ohio’s Great American Ball Park, in which he gave up 11 hits and eight runs, six of them earned, in what ended up a 9-3 loss.
What wasn’t working against the Reds?
“Just his location was a little off,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said. “They laid off the slider, which he usually gets a lot of people to swing at. They didn’t swing at it that much today. He just had an off day.”
“Most teams try to do that I guess,” Corbin said, when asked about Reds’ hitters spitting on his slider, “but yeah, like I said, it kind of happened quick, threw the first two pitches, got a couple guys on, was trying to make some quality pitches there, fell behind on some guys, didn’t execute as well as I have, but yeah, I could see teams trying to do that, trying to stay away from that slider, so, yeah.”
The rough outing left the left-hander (5-3) in 12 starts with a 3.46 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 22 walks, and 83 Ks in 75 1⁄3 IP on the season.
Corbin took the mound last night in Petco Park with a 4-0 lead, and worked around a leadoff walk in a relatively quick first, but a second consecutive leadoff walk cost the left-hander when Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run blast out to center on a 3-1 fastball in the next at bat, 4-2.
Corbin held the Padres there through four, but back-to-back singles and a walk in the home-half of the fifth loaded the bases in front of Manny Machado, who sent a roller to short that brought in one run, and a second scored on an error when Trea Turner threw high to third on the play, trying for a force, and Anthony Rendon missed the ball, 4-4. A sac fly by Franmil Reyes in the next at bat made it a 5-4 game. That’s how it ended.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 101 P, 57 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
Corbin’s five walks were a season-high, and both he and his manager said after the game this his mechanics were off in the outing.
“What I noticed,” Martinez told reporters, “and I talked to [Pitching Coach] Paul [Menhart], his mechanics are a little off right now, it’s causing him to fly open a little bit, and I think he knows that, and he was out and he said, ‘Man, I’ve got to start locating my fastball,’ which is true.”
Corbin threw just 23 of 47 sinkers for strikes (48.9%). His walk total was a sticking point for him when he spoke after the game. His five walks were the most he’s allowed in a game in three seasons.
“Walking five guys, I don’t know if I’ve done that before,” he said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, though he had, once in 2013, and four times in 2016.
“I just felt a little off, felt a little quick front-side,” Corbin added, talking about his mechanics early in the outing, as quoted by Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty.
“I thought after that, made a couple adjustments and felt better, thought I was in the zone a little more, but I was just falling behind today, pretty much throughout.”
Summing up his outing, Corbin said, “I was just trying to be too perfect instead of attacking their hitters with everything I have.”
In his last two starts, the left-hander has now given up 16 hits and 12 runs (nine earned) over 7 2⁄3 IP (10.57 ERA), with opposing hitters putting up a .432/.477/.595 line against him in the outings.
“We’ll get him straightened out, like I said,” Martinez told reporters.
“He’s a veteran guy that’s done this before, we’ll get some work in this week and get him back on track.”