Patrick Corbin tossed a complete game shutout against the Marlins back on May 25th, but he struggled over the three starts that followed (11.37 ERA, .379/.433/.638 line against over 12 2⁄3 IP), before bouncing back with two solid outings (1.29 ERA, .149.216.213 line against in 14 IP) including a strong start against Miami on the road in South Florida last week.
Corbin held the Fish to a run on three hits in seven innings in that appearance, walking one and striking out nine in a 100-pitch effort.
“I felt good,” Corbin said after the 7-5 win over the Fish. “I was able to locate my fastball, threw some strikes inside, which I think opened up a bunch, good slider throughout the course of the game, and I think we had our best changeup so far this year.
“Got to throw it and had success with, so just continue to build off that.”
Corbin’s manager, Davey Martinez, told reporters he was impressed with the way the lefty bounced back and got himself straightened out.
“He really honed in on what he really needed to do,” Martinez said, “and he’s had two really good starts again and he’s right back on track.”
Facing the Marlins for the second time in a week last night, the 29-year-old lefty gave up three straight hits to start the game, but held the visiting team to one run through three innings, and waited out a 1-hour, 15-minute rain delay and returned to the mound for the fourth inning.
Corbin worked around singles in the fourth and fifth innings, then retired the Marlins in order in the top of the sixth, completing six frames on just 79 pitches, with six Ks total.
A nine-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh ended his outing...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks, 87 P, 56 S, 7/1 GO/FO.
It was all the more impressive because Corbin did what he did a day after his close friend, Angels’ starter Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room while Los Angeles was on a road trip to Texas, getting set to play the Rangers.
Corbin changed his number for the night, wearings Skaggs’ No. 45 instead of his usual No. 46.
Patrick Corbin, White Castle Special (3 Nasty Sliders). pic.twitter.com/AwC6FxPIbD— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 2, 2019
Martinez told reporters before the game that Corbin wanted to pitch in spite of the fact that it was an obviously emotional couple days for the left-hander.
After the game, the second-year skipper was in awe of what Corbin was able to do on the mound.
“He was unbelievable through the whole process, really,” Martinez said. “We kept talking to him, the delay kept going, we talked to him, [Pitching Coach] Paul [Menhart] talked to him.
“He was adamant about going back out, said he felt good. The training staff was on him, stretching him, keeping him loose, he was throwing. Once the game started, he went out there, we kept a close eye on him, and after that one inning, he came in and he said, “I feel great,’ so I told him, I said, ‘Well let’s see how long you can go and we’ll go from there.’
“He came out, we took him out after the seventh, and he just looked at me, he said, ‘Well?’ I said, ‘Hey, that’s it.’ He said, “Good, because my legs were getting heavy, so I said, ‘Well, that was awesome.’ Very proud of him.”
Corbin said he wanted to stick to his routine after a rough twenty-four hours in which things changed for everyone who knew and was touched by Skaggs.
“I think when you have a loss you want to keep things as normal as you can and just try to go out there and do what you have to do,” Corbin said after what ended up a 3-2 win over the Marlins. “And I saw the Angels played today too, so I don’t know, I think it’s best to just go out there and play the game of baseball.”
Martinez was asked if thought Corbin fed off or overcame his emotions.
“I think it was a combination of both,” he said, “and I also believe too, he didn’t want to let his teammates down. It was his day to start, he wanted to go out there and perform for his teammates and the Nationals.”