Patrick Corbin seemed like he had no-hit stuff for six innings on Sunday, but it seems merely disappointing, not devastating, that he allowed his first hit in the fourth inning and gave up his second hit and the shutout in the seventh inning of an eventual 3-2 Ioss to the New York Yankees.
Corbin’s wipeout slider and four-seamer were just as nasty as they were in Game 7 of the World Series, striking out eight batters, including Aaron Judge twice and Giancarlo Stanton once, immediately after Gleyber Torres’ fourth-inning single to preserve a 1-0 lead. He induced weak contact on most other occasions.
Corbin was a model of efficiency, using just 74 pitches before Torres’s homer in the seventh.
Seems like more a case of bad luck than fatigue, but with a mostly fresh bullpen behind him, it wasn’t bad strategy for manager Davey Martinez to pull him at that point.
The bullpen hiccups that coughed up the 2-1 lead weren’t Corbin’s fault, and he’ll go deeper into starts later this season.
A southpaw with ability to mow down right-handed sluggers like Judge, Stanton and George Springer can’t be overvalued. Corbin gives the Nats a left-handed ace, a luxury in today’s game. Prior to his arrival before last season, the Nationals really hadn’t had a dominant left-handed starter since Gio Gonzalez’s breakout 2012 season.
After trading some prized prospects to the Athletics for Gonzalez, the left-hander led all of baseball with 21 wins, pitching to a 2.89 ERA in 32 starts with 207 strikeouts, a leader on the team’s first National League East championship run.
With established aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, Corbin gives the club a rotation that looks a lot like Baltimore’s great rotation of Dave McNally, Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellar or the Atlanta trio of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz.
Am I putting Corbin in the Hall of Fame? Not yet, but a few more starts like Sunday’s wouldn’t hurt.
And any team that can trot out three starters like Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin with regularity will rarely be out of the 2020 postseason race.