Patrick Corbin gave up three in the top of the first inning this afternoon, but his Washington Nationals teammates picked him up with a four-run bottom the inning, and Corbin gave up just one other run through 5 2⁄3 IP, as the home team in Nationals Park made it three in a row over the Baltimore Orioles, sweeping their regional rivals in the weekend series. Final Score: 6-5 Nationals.
Corbin vs the O’s: Unbeaten in his last four starts (2-0), after going (0-3) in his first four this season, Patrick Corbin took the mound today coming off a five-inning outing on the road in Wrigley Field this past week in which he gave up eight hits, two walks, and three runs, all of them earned.
“He looked good. He looked really good. We pinch hit for him to try to get that lead run in the game, but I thought he threw the ball really well,” manager Davey Martinez said after a 6-3 loss to the Cubs.
“Got a couple ground ball hits, a blooper hit, but other than that I thought he threw the ball really well.”
Going up against the Orioles this afternoon, Corbin got singled to death early, giving up a string of four hits and two runs before he recorded an out in the first, then a two-out RBI double gave the O’s a 3-0 lead after a half-inning in the series finale.
Given a 4-3 lead to work with before he took the mound for second, Corbin gave up a one-out single, but erased it on an inning-ending 5-4-3. Back-to-back hits, a single to right field by Trey Mancini and a ground-rule double to left by Anthony Santander, and a one-out sac fly by Maikel Franco tied things up at 4-4.
Corbin held the O’s there through five, as the Nationals took the lead and added to it, but after a two-out single in the sixth, the lefty was lifted, having thrown 95 pitches overall...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 5.2 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 95 P, 62 S, 7/2 GO/FO.
Dark Knight?: Former Mets’ starter Matt Harvey got off to a good start with the Orioles this season, posting a 3.60 ERA and a .250/.307/.386 line against in his first seven starts and 35 IP for Baltimore, but in his last two outings before today’s, the 32-year-old right-hander got hit hard, giving up 15 hits and 13 runs (all earned) in six innings.
Harvey gave up seven hits and six runs in just 1 2⁄3 IP against the Rays in the second of the two rough outings.
“I don’t think there are any positives from the last two, three outings. Going less than four innings as a starter is completely unacceptable, and giving up as many runs as I have the last few games is completely unacceptable,” Harvey said, as quoted on MLB.com this past week.
This afternoon in D.C., Harvey took the mound with a 3-0 lead and gave it right back. Trea Turner reached on a swinging bunt, took second on a Juan Soto fly to deep left, and then scored on a Josh Bell line drive to right, 3-1, before Kyle Schwarber jacked a 95 MPH first-pitch sinker, sending a two-run shot to right that tied it up at 3-3.
Josh Harrison and Alex Avila connected for back-to-back doubles with two out in the first, with Harrison scoring easily on Avila’s line drive to right after his own liner to left, 4-3.
Avila doubled again to lead off the Nationals’ half of the fourth, and Andrew Stevenson got on via an infield single, beating out a throw from shortstop Freddy Galvis, who looked a bit too long at Avila heading to third before throwing to first. Patrick Corbin bunted Stevenson over to second in the next at bat, and Trea Turner hit a sac fly to center to score Avila, 5-4.
Harvey was done for the day in the bottom of the fifth, after Starlin Castro reached on a two-out error and Josh Harrison lined a single to right on his 92nd pitch...
Matt Harvey’s Line: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 92 P, 60 S, 4/3 GO/FO.
Soto No-No: Matt Williams might have to bench him. Or maybe someone has to call the D.C. Strangler, Jonathan Papelbon. Juan Soto popped up over the plate with a runner on third and two out in the fourth, and he watched the ball, seemingly thinking it would go foul, but on a windy day in Nationals Park, the ball blew back over the infield in front of home plate and fell to the grass, leaving Soto, who’d just started to run, dead to rights at first base for the final out of the frame, on what would have been an RBI single.
Soto smashed his helmet into the dirt in frustration.
#Nats’ hitting coach Kevin Long was just caught on MASN’s cameras trying to get Juan Soto to stop beating himself up over not running out the infield pop that ended the 4th: pic.twitter.com/uWYPaRndvx— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) May 23, 2021
Bullpen Action: Cole Sulser came on with two on and two out in the Nationals’ fifth, and walked the first batter he faced, Alex Avila, then went to a full count and walked Andrew Stevenson as well, 6-4.
Wander Suero took over for Patrick Corbin with a runner on and two out in the top of the sixth, and got the third out with one pitch.
Paul Fry replaced Sulser on the mound for the O’s after Trea Turner singled to start the Nats’ sixth, and got three outs to keep it a two-run game.
Freddy Galvis doubled off Suero in the first at bat of the seventh, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Trey Mancini groundout, 6-5.
Fry returned to the mound for a scoreless bottom of the seventh.
Daniel Hudson struck out two and retired the side in order in a 14-pitch frame.
César Valdez worked around a leadoff single by Andrew Stevenson for a scoreless bottom of the eighth.
Brad Hand took the mound in the top of the ninth, and gave up a leadoff single by Stevie Wilkerson. Wait, we just wrote Brad Wilkerson in that sentence. Austin Hays bunted to get the runner to second/gave up an out, but Freddy Gavlis popped out to right for out No 2, and after an intentional walk to Trey Mancini, and a mound visit, Hand got out No. 3 on a swinging K from Anthony Santander. Ballgame.
Final Score: 6-5 Nationals
Nationals now 20-23