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Patrick Corbin gives up nine hits, but limits damage in Nationals’ 2-1 loss to Braves...

Going up against the Braves for the second straight start, Patrick Corbin kept the Nationals in the game but took a loss for the fifth time in six starts.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin gave up nine hits and five earned runs in 5 13 innings last weekend in Atlanta, taking the L in what ended up a 10-3 loss to the Braves, and the Nationals’ left-hander told reporters after the outing that he felt hitters were able to lay off his slider for the most part throughout his time on the mound, which is nothing new.

“I think a lot of teams try to do that,” Corbin explained. “I thought I had a good game plan today. We mixed it up a little bit, they had some extended at bats. I thought I made some good pitches and gave up some hits on those as well.

“I thought my stuff was better today, I felt good about that. I feel like we’re in the right direction there. The results on the field weren’t there, but I felt good about my stuff.”

Going up against the Braves again so quickly as he was scheduled to five days later, the southpaw said, wasn’t too much of a concern.

“They’re a great team,” Corbin said. “This year, last year, their lineup is strong from top to bottom, so you have to be on your game.

“We’ll just try to take some of the good things today, try to get better going into my next one. That’s all you can do, you just try to execute pitches and try to get better.”

Corbin told his manager, Davey Martinez, what he told reporters about switching things up a bit after the Braves tried their best not to chase his slider out of the zone.

“He mentioned that his last outing too, that he wants to attack the strike zone and not rely on chase so much,” Martinez said before last night’s game.

“When he does that he’s really good, and when he gets to two strikes, it’s hard to lay off his slider, so he wants to attack the strike zone early, get ahead early, and then go from there, but also too, he talked a lot about using both sides of the plate. He likes to pitch in a lot, but he wants to establish both sides of the plate.”

Ronald Acuña, Jr. singled to left field to start last night’s game, stole second, and scored on an RBI single to center by Marcell Ozuna to make it 1-0 Braves early.

Corbin held the Braves off the board in the second and third, but Adam Duvall hit a double to right with one down in the fourth, and scored on a two-out Ozzie Albies’ hit, 2-0.

The Nationals’ lefty stranded a leadoff single in a seven-pitch fifth, stranded one- and two-out hits in the top of the sixth, and he was up to 96 pitches overall when he came back for what ended up being a scoreless, 12-pitch seventh which ended his outing.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 7.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 108 P, 73 S, 6/1 GO/FO.

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Corbin threw 47 sliders in Atlanta, and Braves’ hitters offered at 25 of 47, with 10 swinging strikes, but just one called strike with the pitch. This time out, in D.C., he threw sliders 45 times (out of 108 pitches) and got 11 swinging and five called strikes with the pitch, and a total of 14 swinging and 20 called strike overall on the night in the loss.

“It felt good to go out there in that seventh and get through it, finish an inning, get up to around 110 pitches there,” Corbin said after his longest outing of the season (and the fifth loss in his last six outings).

“They made me work, I think my pitch count got up a little bit, was high earlier in the game and even though I wasn’t walking guys, these guys just put tough at bats on you throughout the whole order, so thought I did make some good pitches throughout the game, gave up some hits, and they made it tough on myself, and it’s a good team over there, their starter threw the ball really well today, kept our hitters off-balance, so just one of those games where they out-pitched us a little bit and we had a chance to win it there in the ninth and today it just didn’t happen.”

His take on this start vs. the last one?

“I felt very similar, thought my stuff was the same there, which is good, I feel like I’m starting to get where I want to be. I think the results weren’t there last game, today, even giving up the hits, thought I made some pitches, so just try to continue through this, I think I’ll have two more regular season starts here, hopefully we can start putting some wins together.”

“He was sharp,” his manager said of Corbin’s outing.

“Really sharp today. Pounded the strike zone. Utilizing both sides of the plate so I mean, he threw 108 pitches, but he got us through seven innings, so he was really good.”

Corbin did give up nine hits again, however, though Martinez said the lefty was in the zone a lot. “He’s just trying to get ahead of hitters. Obviously the hits didn’t really cause much damage, and I kind of like that. Remember I often say you don’t have to strike everybody out, just get ahead of hitters and we’ve got good defense. So, to go seven innings and give up two runs and give us a chance to win, that’s awesome.”

“It’s not ideal,” Corbin said of all the hits he allowed. “I thought I made some pitches. That Albies’ pitch, I thought I located where I wanted to and kind of blooped in there for a hit.

“I thought I made a good slider to Freddie that he kind of stuck his bat out, I mean, these guys are really good hitters, they put the bat on the ball.

“I think this year they’re not striking out as much as I’ve seen in the past. They’re hot right now, 1-9, they’re a dangerous team, they’re hitting homers, a lot of their guys, so to hold them to two runs, you’d think we’re going to be in the game, and we’ll take that.”