Heading into tonight’s series opener with Milwaukee’s Brewers, Washington Nationals’ left-hander Patrick Corbin was unbeaten in 10 starts (4-0), with a 2.45 ERA, 18 walks, 76 Ks, and a .220/.269/.344 line against in 62 1⁄3 IP over that stretch.
The Nationals had, however, lost three of Corbin’s previous five outings, including the last one, in which the 30-year-old lefty gave up just three hits and two runs over six innings on the mound against the New York Mets on the road in Citi Field.
That outing left Corbin with a 5.13 ERA and a .265/.329/.470 line against in 72 IP over 13 starts away from the nation’s capital this season, in which he was (3-4), but the Nats’ left-hander was back in D.C. last night, where he had a (6-1) record in 11 starts, with a 1.78 ERA and a stingy .189/.240/.265 line against in 75 2⁄3 IP before taking on Milwaukee.
Corbin held the Brewers to one run on seven hits through five, working into and out of jams in the third, fourth, and fifth innings, after giving up a leadoff home run by Orlando Arcia to lead off the third.
Patrick Corbin: What is this I hear about you breaking a bat and throwing it into the woods?— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 17, 2019
Yasmani Grandal: I didn't break it. I was merely testing its durability, and I placed it in the woods because it's made of wood and I thought he should be with his family. pic.twitter.com/ZMxXw2aZUk
He was up to 88 pitches after five, with 33 of 88 pitches slider, generating a total of 16 swinging strikes with the pitch.
After working around two walks in a 22-pitch top of the sixth, Corbin was up to 110 pitches total and done for the night in what ended up a 2-1 win for the Nationals.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 Ks, 1 HR, 110 P, 61 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
The left-hander finished the night with 24 swinging strikes total, 19 on his slider, which he threw 40 times overall on the night.
“The scouting report was to throw breaking balls down in the zone,” Davey Martinez told reporters when the manager spoke after the team’s fifth straight win, “and he can be really effective when guys start swinging at him, as we know, so he kept us in the ballgame, pitched well, got out of some jams, pitch count got up there in the sixth inning, but he gave us what we needed.”
Martinez added that he was once again impressed by Corbin’s ability to calmly work his way out of the jams he finds himself in and keep the Nationals in the game.
“He’s very poised, really,” the second-year skipper said. “Nothing really rattles him out there. He knows when to step off, he knows when to take deep breaths, he knows when to slow down, but he’s a gamer. We talk about the Scherzers and the Strasburgs, but he’s just as competitive as any of them, and when guys get on base that’s when he becomes nails, he really does.”
The Brewers, as a team, were 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position and 13 left on base in the 2-1 loss.