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Washington Nationals shut out by Colorado Rockies, 6-0: Step back for Patrick Corbin...

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After two starts in which he looked like he was doing better on the mound, Patrick Corbin struggled through four this afternoon...

Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin, trying to build on back-to-back better outings, took a step back today in the second of three with the Colorado Rockies in D.C., giving up nine hits (two of them homers), three walks, and six runs (five earned) in just four innings, leaving the mound with the home team in a 6-0 hole that the Washington Nationals couldn’t climb out of...

Corbin vs the Rockies: Patrick Corbin had gone seven innings in each of his last two starts, giving up three runs on 11 hits against the Mets and two runs on four hits against the Pirates.

“The results have been a lot better the last couple,” Corbin said after his outing in PNC Park.

“I don’t feel any different, I think just maybe attacking the zone a little bit more, trying to be a little more aggressive,” he explained, “but other than that I’ve been feeling good, so just trying to finish this year strong, pitch as deep as I can in the remaining games that I have and end this season on a high note.”

This afternoon against Colorado in the nation’s capital, Corbin fell behind early, two batters in early, with Rockies’ leadoff man Garrett Hampson doubling to center field on a 1-0 sinker before Brendan Rodgers hit a first-pitch slider out to right for a two-run home run, 2-0. With one out in the inning, C.J. Cron singled and Elias Díaz doubled, putting runners on second and third base, and Ryan McMahon followed with a grounder to third that got by Nats’ third baseman Carter Kieboom’s backhand, 3-0.

Corbin kept the Rockies off the board in the second and third innings, but was up to a total of 60 pitches after three, and he gave up a one-out walk and single in the top of the fourth, which put runners on the corners in front of Trevor Story, who hit a 3-1 sinker out to left for home run No. 23 on the season and a 6-0 lead.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 87 P, 51 S, 6/1 GO/FO.

Freeland vs the Nationals: Kyle Freeland, 28, and a 2014 1st Round pick, was unbeaten in five starts in August, with a 3.41 ERA, a 3.03 FIP, four walks, 34 Ks, and .239/.265/.394 line against in 29 IP, but heading into tonight’s outing, the left-hander was coming off of back-to-back losses in which he gave up 14 hits, seven walks, and 11 ER in 10 13 innings pitched (9.58 ERA, 10.04 FIP, .318/.423/.727 line against).

“The action on his pitches and the overall stuff is fine,” Black said, as quoted in the Denver Post, after Freeland gave up five hits, four walks, and four runs in six innings vs the Phillies last time out.

“It’s not like there is a big downturn in his stuff. But the execution over the course of his outing has not been consistent. I think we saw that tonight.”

Looking to bounce back from those two outings, the southpaw took the mound today with a 3-0 lead and retired the side in order in the bottom of the first, but leadoff and back-to-back, one-out singles in the Nats’ second loaded the bases before Alex Avila grounded into an inning-ending, 3-6-1 DP.

Freeland tossed five scoreless on 58 pitches, as the Rockies jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but he gave up back-to-back singles by Lane Thomas and Alcides Escobar in the home-half of the sixth, and Juan Soto stepped in next and sent a grounder to first, on which a high toss over to second pulled shortstop Trevor Story off the bag, bases loaded. Ryan Zimmerman came up with an opportunity to get the Nationals on the board, and grounded into a 1-2-3 DP. Carter Kieboom got a two-out opportunity and walked to load them up with two out, but Yadiel Hernández K’d swinging to end the threat and a 22-pitch frame for Freeland, who was up to 80 total after six scoreless.

Kyle Freeland’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 80 P, 51 S, 7/0 GO/FO.

Lane Train: Going into today’s game, Lane Thomas had reached base safely in 17 of 18 games, with, as the Nationals noted in their pregame notes, a .307/.398/.587 line, four doubles, a triple, five home runs, 18 RBIs, 12 walks, and 18 runs scored in that stretch, which left him with a .310/.402/.549 line, eight doubles, two triples, five home runs, 22 RBIs, 18 walks, and 23 runs scored in the 30 games he’d played with the Nationals following the July 30th trade from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Thomas K’d looking the first time up, grounded into a double play in his second trip to the plate, then singled the third time up in the sixth, making it 18 of 19 on base.

Bullpen Action: Ryne Harper took over for the Nationals with the Rockies up 6-0 after four, and the right-hander tossed a scoreless, nine-pitch frame.

An eight-pitch, two-K sixth left Harper at 17 pitches in two scoreless.

Sean Nolin was next out of the bullpen with the Nationals still trailing 6-0 after six in D.C., and he worked around a leadoff walk, striking out two in a scoreless frame.

Yency Almonte came on for the Rockies in the bottom of the seventh inning, after starter Kyle Freeland tossed six scoreless, and worked around a one-out walk and single, striking out two batters after two runners reached base.

Nolin returned to the mound for the top of the eighth, and stranded a single and a walk in a second scoreless frame.

Robert Stephenson walked Juan Soto to start the Nationals’ eighth, but a fly to right by Ryan Zimmerman and a 6-4-3 DP off of Carter Kieboom’s bat kept it 6-0 after eight.

Nolin came back for more in the top of the ninth and worked around a leadoff walk for a third scoreless frame.

Daniel Bard came on to end it, and retired the Nationals in order to end it.

Final Score: 6-0 Rockies

Nationals now 60-88