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Patrick Corbin focused on fastballs in Nationals’ 7-2 win over Phillies in D.C.

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Patrick Corbin held the Phillies to a run on three hits in the Nationals’ 7-2 win in the nation’s capital last night.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

In three starts against the Philadelphia Phillies this season, before last night’s outing, Patrick Corbin was (1-0) with a 3.32 ERA, eight walks, 24 Ks, and a .235/.308/.397 line against in the 19 innings he pitched in those games.

Last time out against Washington’s NL East rivals, on July 19th in Citizens Bank Park, the left-hander held Philly hitters to three runs on six hits in six innings, striking out 10 of 25 batters in a 103-pitch effort in a 4-3 win in which he received no decision.

“They’re a tough opponent over there,” Corbin told reporters after that start, “... and had to battle from it seemed like pitch one. Didn’t get ahead as well as I wanted to. They made me work, they laid off some good pitches. Would have liked to have gone a little deeper in the game, but sometimes against a good team like that you try not to make a mistake and what happened was my pitch count got up.”

His fourth outing of the season against the Phillies took place in Nationals Park last night.

Corbin tossed a scoreless first, and took the mound with a 1-0 lead in the second, courtesy of an Adam Eaton homer, and after he retired the side in order, he came out with a 2-0 lead in the third after Yan Gomes took Philly right-hander Zach Eflin deep for the Nats’ second home run of the game.

Trea Turner hit the third home run in three innings in the top of the third, and Corbin kept it up with a scoreless 27-pitch fourth and an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth that left him at 78 pitches total in five scoreless frames.

Corbin ran into trouble in the sixth, however, allowing the Phillies to load the bases with one out, and a run came in on a grounder to third when Anthony Rendon stepped on the bag for out No. 2, but threw wide of first going for the inning-ending 5-3 double play, 5-1 Nationals.

Corbin’s 30-pitch sixth ended his outing after 108 pitches total, 59 fastballs (40 two-seam and 19 four-seamers), 43 sliders (with which he got 10 swinging strikes & five called strikes), four changeups, and two curves.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 108 P, 64 S, 10/1 GO/FO.

“He had a really good fastball,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said after the Nationals’ 7-2 win, “... and the plan was to get the ball up at times, he did that well, but he pitched — he got into a little bit of a jam and pitched out of it, but he pitched well. They laid off his slider a lot, it was kind of short, but he threw some pretty good ones as well.”

“His fastball was working, and when they’re not chasing on the slider, he made adjustments, him and [catcher] Yan [Gomes] talked, and they were able to go up with his fastball, and his fastball had some life to it today.”

“My fastball felt really good today,” Corbin told reporters after improving to (14-7, 3.05 ERA), with the win.

“Thought I was able to locate it,” he said of his fastball.

“I thought on some two-seamers they were close, just missing a little bit, but felt really good about it, and just kind of kept them off-balance, didn’t want to leave any breaking balls there for them to do some damage with, so kind of a little bit of everything.”

Corbin acknowledged how big a homestand this is, but he said he knows he has to remain focused on the task at hand as the Nationals wrap up the regular season.

“I just treat it like any other game,” Corbin said. “You try to just go out there and do your job and just try to put up as many zeroes as I could. We got those three runs early, and then they added on late, so that was good to see, and it was good. I thought defensively we played well today, offensively as well, and the bullpen came in and did a great job, so just a lot of good things to take away from today.”