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Washington Nationals’ Patrick Corbin takes step back in start No. 4 of 2021...

Patrick Corbin looked sharp in his third start of the season, but he took a step back on Sunday in New York...

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

After giving up 12 hits and 16 runs (15 ER) in 6 13 innings pitched in his first two starts of the 2021 campaign, Patrick Corbin tossed six scoreless in start No. 3, bouncing back from what were two concerning outings for the pitcher and the Washington Nationals’ brass. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, when the 31-year-old southpaw showed some signs of progress on the mound in his third turn in the rotation.

“This is Pat Corbin right now,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters after Corbin’s start in a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

“He threw the ball really well. So moving forward it was good to see.”

“We had a great conversation when he came out of the game,” he added. “He feels like he’s back. So it’s awesome. We get him back, five days from now he’ll be back out there.”

Corbin’s fourth start of the season found him behind early after a one-out walk and two-out, two-run home run put the New York Mets up 2-0 early in the series finale in Citi Field.

The Mets added to their lead with runs in the fourth, on an RBI single by James McCann, and the fifth, on a solo home run by Pete Alonso, and Corbin was out after 79 pitches in only four innings of work in what ended up a 4-0 loss.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 79 P, 48 S, 5/1 GO/FO.

“Corbin fell behind a couple hitters, the walks, and then the homers beat us today,” Martinez said after the second loss in the three-game series.

“I felt alright,” Corbin said on a post game Zoom call. “Just the three walks ended up hurting me. The two homers just pitches right down the middle. Breaking ball there to Davis.

“Early on I felt the slider wasn’t as good. I thought it got better as the day went on. And Alonso, I just left that fastball out there as well.”

Having another rough start after it looked like he figured something out last time, added to Corbin’s frustration.

“It’s tough, it’s been frustrating, but I just got to continue going out there,” he said.

“Throwing my bullpens, getting reps as much as I can. Physically I feel fine, so yeah, that would be it.”

Martinez said in spite of the setback it wasn’t a back to the drawing board type situation.

“I think there still were some positives,” he explained.

“You know the biggest thing was when he fell behind, you’ve got to throw a strike and it’s tough.

“When he pitched ahead, it was a different story. For me, he’s got to come out and attack the strike zone.

“He’s so much better when he’s 0-2, 1-2, on hitters, then his slider plays a lot better.

“But I thought overall I saw some positives in there. He threw a 3-1 get-me-over slider to Davis that he hit. He fell behind Alonso for the home run, but I thought there was some improvement in there. We got to get him back. You think about it — I thought about this before, and I’m not trying to make excuses for him, but he did sit out because of this COVID thing, and he couldn’t really get that much work in. I thought we just got to keep building him up and throwing him out there.

“I though he had some moments where he looked really good today.”

“I think for everybody — as a team, it was, like I said, it’s different,” Corbin said of the post-Spring Training break for both the team, and for the players who went into quarantine.

“We’re not used to getting ready for a season and having a delay like that. You try to do what you can do with the stuff that you have. I felt pretty good coming on.

“That first start in LA, my legs didn’t feel under me. After that felt pretty good. But still, I was still trying to build up kind of towards the end of spring, and my last outing there, came in after [Jon] Lester, just with the schedule and the off days things were a little different, and then having that delay to the season, so I mean, it’s just different, you try to to deal with it. I feel fine, I just haven’t been about to go out there and consistently do what I’ve done in the past.”