Patrick Corbin tossed eight scoreless last time out before tonight, earning the win in an 11-1 game with the Pittsburgh Pirates and extending a 12-start unbeaten streak, over which he’d posted a 2.12 ERA, 22 walks, 90 Ks, and a .217/.273/.337 line against in 76 1⁄3 innings pitched.
“He’s keeping the ball down,” Davey Martinez said when he was asked what’s working for the left-hander in PNC Park.
“He’s working both sides of the plate. When he throws ground balls, that typically tells me that he’s on, and that means his fastball is good.
“His slider’s down, and he’s just getting ahead of counts.”
Corbin generated 12 ground ball outs in the start vs the Pirates.
Going up against the Baltimore Orioles, back home in the nation’s capital, Corbin gave up a leadoff single Hanser Alberto in the opening frame, then had a runner reach base on a slider in the dirt that did not hit Trey Mancini in either foot but was called a hit-by-pitch, which the Nationals didn’t challenge.
Patrick Corbin, Filthy 83mph Slider (grip/release/slow). pic.twitter.com/A1AhazlGKO— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 28, 2019
Anthony Salander stepped in next and lined an RBI double to left, and a one-out sac fly put the O’s up to 2-0 with two down.
Alberto singled on a 92 MPH first-pitch fastball. Salander lined a 93 MPH 2-2 fastball to left field, and over Juan Soto’s head.
Corbin retired 15-straight after the first three batters reached base, to get through the top of the fifth on 73 pitches, then retired three more after Alberto led off the sixth with a hit.
Corbin returned to the mound in the seventh, at 86 pitches, and worked around a one-out single for a scoreless frame, retiring 21 of 23 batters to end his out after 104 pitches total over his seven innings of work...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 Ks, 104 P, 69 S, 7/3 GO/FO.
Patrick Corbin, Slider Release/Spin Axis (Slow/Isolated) pic.twitter.com/9ORD7l2T2o— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 28, 2019
After throwing more two-seamers than sliders last time out, Corbin was slider-heavy again vs the O’s, picking up 10 swinging and three called strikes with the 39 sliders he threw.
He finished the night with 17 swinging and 15 called strikes overall, seven groundouts, and nine strikeouts from the 26 batters he faced.
It wasn’t enough, however, as the two runs the Orioles scored in the first were enough for a 2-0 win in Nationals Park.
“Other than the first inning [Corbin] was really good,” Martinez said after the 2-0 loss to the O’s.
Asked about the Orioles jumping on Corbin’s fastball early, the Nats’ skipper said that was the type of team Baltimore is right now.
“They’re a young team that — they hit fastballs is what they do, and when he threw the first pitch of the game, it wasn’t a bad pitch, but a ball up in the zone a little bit and the guy hits the ball up the middle, and he left another ball kind of up a little bit, but other than that he was really good after that.”
The Nationals couldn’t get anything going against Orioles’ starter Aaron Brooks, however, and the O’s pen shut them down as well.
“The object of the game is to score more runs than the other team, right?” Martinez asked rhetorically.
“We didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t hit, and then Brooks kept us off-balance all night and we couldn’t score a run. We had an opportunity there in the eighth and just couldn’t get a run.”
After a 6-1 road trip, the Nationals, who’d won seven of eight, 12 of 14, and 15 of their last 19 games going into the first of two with the Orioles, dropped a 2-0 decision.
Corbin said the loss was a clear example of why you want to win your division rather than put the season on the line in the Wild Card.
“If you’ve got one game, anything can happen,” Corbin told reporters.