Patrick Corbin extended an unbeaten streak to 11-straight starts last time out before facing the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, holding the Milwaukee Brewers to a run on seven hits over six innings, but he received no decision in what ended up a 2-1 win for Washington, leaving him winless in his previous three outings.
Davey Martinez talked after Corbin walked four and struck out eighth in a 110-pitch start, about what was working for the left-hander against the Brewers.
“The scouting report was to throw breaking balls down in the zone,” Martinez said, “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.”
Corbin threw 40 sliders in that outing, and got 19 of his 24 swinging strikes overall with the pitch.
“I was able to use it in big spots,” Corbin told reporters after the game, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“Against these guys, when they do get some guys in scoring position, you don’t want to make a mistake there. Threw some tough sliders, and maybe threw more balls than I’d like to. But sometimes against these guys it works out that way.”
Going up against the Pirates last night in PNC Park, the Nationals’ left-hander got a 6-0 lead to work with in the third, and he tossed eight scoreless on 93 pitches, retiring 11 batters in a row after a two-out walk in the first, holding the home team to three hits and two walks total on the night, and inducing 12 ground ball outs from the 28 batters he faced.
Patrick Corbin, 91mph Fastball and 81mph Slider, Overlay. pic.twitter.com/1v5v5EEABG— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 22, 2019
He got six swinging strikes with the sliders he threw, 30 of them total, but generated plenty of weak contact, with an average exit velocity of 71.7 MPH on the slider, and 87.5 MPH on his two-seam fastball, which he threw 43 times.
“I know teams, when they face me, they know they’re going to see a lot of sliders,” Corbin told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the game.
“Some lay off, some don’t. You’ve just got to execute your fastball when you can command it to both sides of the plate and have a good mix there. You can get quicker outs, and get ground balls and work deeper into ballgames.”
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 93 P, 63 S, 12/5 GO/FO.
“He was really good,” Corbin’s manager said after what ended up an 11-1 win.
“Pounded the strike zone, kept everything down. His two-seamer was really, really good, got a lot of ground balls today, so he was awesome.”
The fact that he generated as many ground balls as he did, Martinez said, was a good sign that Corbin was on his game.
“He’s keeping the ball down, he’s working both sides of the plate, when he throws ground balls, that typically tells me that he’s on,” Martinez explained.
“And that means his fastball is good, his slider’s down, and he’s just getting ahead of counts.”
As for why he didn’t send Corbin back out for the ninth? Martinez said that the Nationals had a big lead, and it’s late in the season, so there was no reason to ask more of the left-hander.
“This is the time of year — if the game was closer obviously he stays in the game, but this is the time of year with us scoring all those runs, to give him a little breather, and give him a little break. He did everything he had to do for us, we scored a bunch of runs, and that’s all it was, keep him under 100 pitches, because we’ve still got a lot of baseball left.”