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Washington Nationals provide plenty of support for Patrick Corbin in Citi Field + that slider...

Patrick Corbin gave up two runs in his sixth inning of work, but it was a 14-2 game at that point, and the Nationals beat the Mets, 16-4 in the end.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin gave up eight hits and three earned runs in 5 23 innings pitched against the New York Mets last week in the nation’s capital, walking one and striking out eight in a 5-3 win.

Corbin talked after the 102-pitch appearance against against Nationals’ NL East rivals about continuing to build up his arm strength following a quick ramp-up in Spring Training 2.0.

“I’m still getting to that level where I’d like to be,” the lefty said. “The only way to do that is to continue to go out there and pitch every fifth day, and hopefully we’re able to do that.

“And just continue to get my body into game shape. It was good to get over 100 pitches today, and we’ll see how I bounce back.”

Corbin bounced back pretty well, and got plenty of run support in his second consecutive outing against the Mets.

It was 1-0 after two, 5-0 after three, and 12-0 after five as Corbin tossed four scoreless on 45 pitches, then came back out for the fifth and erased his second walk of the season with a 1-6-3 DP, before stranding a two-out single in a 16-pitch frame that left him at 61 pitches total on the night.

Corbin gave up his second walk of the game (and third of the season), and threw away an ill-advised attempt to start a double-play (or something?) in what ended up a 26-pitch sixth, in which the Mets finally got on the board, but that only made it 14-2, in what ended up being a 16-4 win.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 87 P, 54 S, 10/3 GO/FO.

Corbin’s slider was sharp as usual, and the southpaw generated 11 swinging strikes with the pitch (out of 23 swings, 48%), and finished the night with 13 called strikes as well, three with his slider, and five each with his sinker and four-seamer. But that slider, right?

“I faced him a couple times in Spring Training,” Juan Soto said (after a 3 for 4 game in which he hit a double and a bomb of a HR to center), “... and I think it’s one of toughest sliders I’ve ever seen, because he’s so nasty. I’m really excited that he’s on my side.”

“Corbin was Corbin,” Manager Davey Martinez said after the win, “... he kept the score down, he did everything he was supposed to do today, so the game went well.”

Corbin’s ability to mix things up with the slider was impressive as well, with Baseball Savant reporting it averaged of 77.7 MPH, but went as low as 72.2 MPH, and up to 80.2 MPH, just to add to the degree of difficulty trying to avoid looking foolish flailing at the pitch.

“That’s awesome,” Martinez said. “He keeps the hitters off-balance. He knows where to throw it, he knows how to throw it for a strike. He’ll bury it with two strikes. The most impressive thing is that he keeps the ball down unless he wants to elevate a fastball, and that’s huge. Everything was down today, he looked great. Had one inning there where he threw a bunch of pitches, we took him out of the game, but he threw the ball really well.”

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“Slider has felt good this whole season so far,” Corbin said of the pitch, against which hitters had a .118 AVG before last night. “It’s been my pitch, able to throw it for strikes, locate it, just right now I think location has been really important for me, and being able to do that and still feel like the body is still trying to ramp up here and get things going, but I’m happy with where we’re at right now.”

Corbin’s slider is there, and though his fastball velocity is a tick off, averaging 89-90 on his four-seamer and sinker, which is down from 91.8 in 2019. His sinker averaged 88.5, and his sinker averaged 88.7.

“Obviously it’s not like where I was towards the end of last season where your arm is built up,” Corbin acknowledged.

“But I think it’s — I mean, we’re still building up, and I think when you come out and you’re feeling good, I think that’s going to come eventually.

“That’s why I think location right now is just such an important [thing], being able to do that.

“When I can look up and see my slider is around the speed it normally is, I know everything is fine, and I just think the more and more we get out there, the more innings I get under my belt, get in a routine, things will get back to normal and I think that’s with a lot of guys here.

“We had such a long layoff and everybody was doing different things, so it’s going to be different for everybody.”