Patrick Corbin snapped a six-start winless streak with a solid 6 1⁄3-inning outing against the Milwaukee Brewers in American Family Field last time out before facing Miami’s Marlins for the third time this season on Thursday night.
Corbin, 32, held the Brewers to a run on three hits in a 92-pitch turn in the rotation, after which he talked about finally getting results after he felt he was throwing better over his previous few outings.
“It feels good to go out there, pitch well, and have some good results,” Corbin told reporters in a post game Zoom call from Milwaukee.
“i’ve been saying it for a while now that I feel good, I feel like the ball is coming out, maybe making a couple mistakes late and when I am, paying for it, but I thought tonight we got in a good rhythm back there, and it was fun, felt good, and looking forward to continuing it, and trying to finish this season strong.”
Corbin also discussed the fact that all of his pitches played up, velocity-wise in the outing.
“I mean, I’ve been feeling good, and I’ve been up, I thought velo has been pretty good, kind of this stretch that I’ve had I think it’s been pretty good,” he explained.
“I’ve never been a huge velo guy,” Corbin added, “but I feel what we’re doing — that’s why it’s been so frustrating, to feel like your stuff plays, and you feel good and you’re just not getting results.”
It helped that he had a little luck too. Corbin tossed 6 1⁄3 scoreless before he gave up a solo home run that accounted for the only run he allowed, but in the first at bat of the home-half of the seventh, Eduardo Escobar lined out to center, right at Victor Robles.
“I kind of was just laughing to myself, like, ‘Alright, they hit it to somebody and made a mistake and actually got an out on it, so...”
That hasn’t been how things have played out for Corbin this season, as he’s struggled to get things sorted out.
Corbin’s manager, Davey Martinez, stressed after he’d struggled again in his previous outing that he wanted the southpaw to try to focus more on throwing his sinker, to set up his slider, and the starter threw it 45% of the time against the Brewers, up from 31.3% overall in 2021.
He threw his slider 25 times (27%, down from an average of 37.3% overall this season), and he got 12 swings, seven swinging strikes, and a total of four called strikes with the pitch.
Martinez was asked if that the plan for Corbin going forward, to change things up with his pitch mix?
“We talk a lot about him using both sides of the plate, you know,” Martinez said.
“If you’ve got a two-seamer that’s running away from a right-handed hitter, in to a lefty, it’s tough to cover both sides of the plate, so ... he did it well today, he used both sides of the plate with his fastball, when he needed to throw his slider, he threw it, and he got swings and misses from it.”
Did Corbin and his manager discuss his fastball usage between his outing against the Brew Crew and his start against the Miami Marlins last night?
“I just had mentioned how well I thought he attacked the strike zone, and I liked it,” Martinez said before the series finale with the Fish.
“I liked that fact that he used his fastball, especially like I said, it’s been electric his last few starts, so hopefully — I know the MO on these guys is to be breaking ball-heavy, but I still think that he can mix his fastballs in and out especially his two-seamer and get some quick outs with it.”
Trying to follow up on that successful outing, Corbin struggled again. He gave up leadoff and two-out walks in the bottom of the first in Miami, and Brian Anderson drove in a run with an RBI single, on a 1-1 sinker up in the zone, and Jorge Alfaro followed with a three-run blast on a 1-1 slider at the bottom of the zone that went out to right field, 4-0.
Bryan De La Cruz singled to start the second, and one out later Miguel Rojas hit a slider up and in out to left field for a two-run blast and a 6-0 Marlins’ lead after two.
"Hi, you've reached Miguel Rojas at The Miami Marlins. I can't come to the phone right now as I am busy at the moment. Please leave your name and number, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible."— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) August 27, 2021
He tossed a 1-2-3 third inning, but his spot in the order came up in the top of the fourth, with the bases loaded and two out, so the Nationals hit for the starter there...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 58 P, 36 S, 5/0 GO/FO.
“He gave up two home runs on two not-so-good sliders,” Martinez said after what ended up a 7-5 loss. “That was the big — we talked to him last time about using more fastballs.
“I said earlier how this team, you could throw breaking balls, but you’ve got to locate them. He just threw two bad sliders that cost him a couple home runs there.
“Just a rough night tonight. We have to come back from six runs, and we got bases loaded, and I was just trying to get some runs on the board for him.”
For Corbin, a tough outing after one of his best this season, was obviously frustrating.
“I was looking to build off that one,” he said. “I think location struggled, with it a little bit today, a couple walks there in the first and left the slider up.
“Just too many mistakes, can’t be walking guys, and kind of got myself in a hole there, a slider in the zone to a guy that can do some damage and paid for it.”