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Patrick Corbin makes third consecutive start vs Miami Marlins; gives up two homers...

Patrick Corbin has made three starts this spring, all of them against the Miami Marlins, which is not a big deal, but yeah.

Photo © and courtesy Washington Nationals.

Facing the Miami Marlins in each of his first two outings this spring, Patrick Corbin held the Washington Nationals’ divisional rivals to a run on four hits in five innings, walking only two, and striking out six of the batters he faced in 33 and 48-pitch appearances.

In start No. 3 against the Fish, Corbin ended up going 3 23 innings on 68 pitches total, and he gave up four hits (two home runs), four walks, and four earned runs overall, striking out two batters before he was done for the night.

Corbin dropped a 68 MPH curve into the mix during his second outing against the Fish, and he talked afterwards about the possibility that someone crushes one of them, and he said it was just something you throw to shake things up, and no one expects it for the most part so it’s not a big concern.

“You try to throw it enough just as something different out there, try to get ahead with it,” Corbin explained, “... but I don’t know, I feel like if I can locate it, it’s something that I can maybe steal a strike here and there. That’s probably the one pitch that I still don’t feel like is where it needs to be at this point. But that’s what we have Spring for, to continue to build up on it to where it’s something that I can throw more than once a game, or twice.”

He tried again in start No. 3, and it got hammered:

“I think I saw a 63 if that was right,” Corbin said of the radar reading on the pitch. “I mean, that’s got to be the hardest hit ball I’ve seen on that. Sometimes — guys don’t really swing at it, or you get a called strike, or something like that, but that was — he stayed back on it, and hit it really well.”

“I don’t know. It’s good to see that. All I can try to do is learn from that and throw it better next time.”

Seeing the same team three times in a row isn’t ideal, of course, but Corbin didn’t seem all that worried about it.

“We do face Miami a lot, being in our division, but I think the first time I faced them they had a totally different lineup than the second time I faced them,” Corbin explained, “... and today there were some other guys as well.

“So, they were playing a couple lefties against me, which, maybe during the season I don’t see that.”

“I think my next one will be against another team so that might be good.”

Corbin worked around a walk in a scoreless first, retired the Marlins in order in the second, then gave up the solo home run by Dunand and a two-run blast by Adam Duvall in the top of the third, before giving up two walks around a single, and a run on a one-out groundout during the fourth, before a two-out free pass ended his outing.

“We worked on a lot of things today, a lot of changeups today, a lot of cutters. I think I had three walks, but I felt — I was throwing some good pitches, but maybe just a little off today on some of those, but it seemed like they came out swinging a little bit, especially early in the count after that first batter, but overall felt pretty good.

“Happy to get close to 70 pitches, so that was good. So just hopefully continue to build on that, and that’s really the most important thing right now.”

“It’s kind of difficult when every five days he’s facing the Marlins,” manager Davey Martinez empathized. “So, but you know, and for him it’s just about attacking the strike zone, and I like the fact that he kept the ball down for the most part. It’s about building up his pitch count and getting him back out there. We thought about pulling him out and getting him back out for the fifth, but I figured he’s going to face one more hitter and get to that 70-pitch mark, and that was good enough for him.”

“Probably the arm is probably the most fatigued after a start to this point, just getting up to that point, but I feel good coming out of it,” Corbin added. “I mean ... this is what you like to do, is to build up there, I threw a lot of pitches there in that [fourth] inning. But it’s trying to continue to gradually build up to try to get close to 100 pitches, and I feel like we’ve done a good job being able to do that, so next one we’ll try to go into the fifth inning, a tick up in pitches and continue from there.”