Patrick Corbin was winless in his last four starts, but unbeaten in six heading into last night’s game against the Colorado Rockies in the nation’s capital, with a 1.85 ERA, eight walks, and 50 Ks in 39 innings pitched in the stretch, over which opposing hitters had a .227/.267/.326 line against the left-hander.
Corbin was coming off a five-inning, 100-pitch outing against the Braves in Atlanta in which he allowed two runs on eight hits in a 4-3 loss in which he received no decision, as he took on the Rockies.
His pitch count was up again early against the Rockies, with the left-hander throwing 27 in the first and 64 pitches over three scoreless innings in Nationals Park.
Corbin ended up going six strong, retiring 15 of the last 17 batters he faced, and striking out a total of seven of 23 Rockies’ hitters he went up against while keeping the visiting team off the board and making a 1-0 lead hold up through five and a half in what ended up being a 2-0 win.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks, 106 P, 64 S, 6/2 GO/FO.
With six scoreless from their starter, and three scoreless from the bullpen, the Nationals, as a team, have limited the Rockies to three runs in three games in the series.
“I’ll keep saying this, you look at their lineup,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said after the Nationals swept Wednesday’s doubleheader, “they’ve got some really good hitters, really good hitters. But I say it again, our starting pitching - Corbin today, who — pitch count got up there a little bit, but he kept us in the ballgame and we got just enough runs to win the game.”
“First inning, just didn’t really feel like myself,” Corbin said after the 106-pitch appearance.
“Just kind of was just missing off the plate a little bit, got my pitch count up there, and it was good to get out of that first inning with no damage done, and I felt good after that, next inning I led off with a walk, but then was able to settle back down, and felt really good after that, pitched out of a couple jams early, and had a good mix up there against these guys.
“I’ve seen them a lot, they can do some damage, so these last three games, they’re a good lineup, so the whole staff has seemed to pitch pretty well against them.”
How did he reset after not feeling like himself in the first inning?
“You just really focus,” he explained. “For me just try to not open up too quick is kind of my thing. If I open up, I’ll miss arm side sometimes, but that was it. When I got out of it I felt strong going forward that I could pitch deep. I felt really good, even coming out of there after the six, I felt good, so just try to take it on to my next outing against the Braves.”
Knowing the Rockies well after years in the NL West with Arizona before he signed on with Washington, and knowing teams like Atlanta, who he’ll be facing twice in three starts, how much does that help?
“It definitely helps,” Corbin acknowledge.
“Knowing guys helps. Coming back to the National League [West], knowing these teams, I’ve faced them quite a bit, can definitely help, and I mean, you face these guys some many times, or I have in the NL West, so you just an idea, and you see some damage that they can do with the top of their lineup, so just a good two wins today.”
Up next, as he said, are the Braves again, who, after last night’s wins, have a 4.0 game lead over the Nationals in the NL East.
“We’re confident with everyone here,” Corbin said. “Just keep it going. There’s something special going on in this clubhouse and we feel that no matter who we’re playing every day we come in here we have a good chance to win and we’re just going to continue to do that and come in tomorrow and try to do the same thing.”