On the mound in Milwaukee, WI last weekend, Patrick Corbin gave up a leadoff home run by Andrew McCutchen on the first pitch he threw, back-to-back singles, by Luis Urías and Christian Yelich, and a sacrifice fly by Hunter Renfroe which put the left-hander and the Washington Nationals in a 2-0 hole early in the second of three with the Brewers on the road in American Family Field.
Corbin he retired 12 of the next 13 hitters he faced, before giving up a 2-out solo home run by Urías in the fifth.
Then a pair of singles (by Yelich and Renfroe) and a walk (to Mike Brosseau) loaded them up before a two-run single by Keston Hiura put the home team up 5-1. Corbin finished the fifth, but was done for the night at that point.
“They were really aggressive,” Corbin said after he fell to (0-7) with a 6.60 ERA, a 4.71 FIP, 20 walks, 39 Ks, and a .295/.372/.465 line against in nine starts and 43 2⁄3 IP on the season.
“I’m trying to attack the zone and get in good counts like that, and yesterday they weren’t swinging as much and kind of a veteran team over there,” Corbin continued, “... and today they had a different game plan.
“But I feel like I say this a lot, you look up there and I gave up five, and the box score looks bad, but I felt good, I feel like I pitched better than the outcome.”
Martinez said he going into last night’s start against the Colorado Rockies he wanted to see Corbin attack Rockies’ hitters like he did in Coors Field, where he gave up nine hits and five runs, three earned, over eight innings back on May 4th.
“I’m looking for the same thing,” the fifth-year skipper said, “I mean really use both sides of the plate, keep the ball down, use his changeup. He pitched well against them in Colorado, which was — like I said, we were maybe 1-2 balls away from him having a great outing, so just continue to work down in the zone, and like I said, using both sides of the plate, and attacking the strike zone. I mean, when he does that he’s really good. And keep us in the game.
“And for me, he’s done that over the last — like I said, we were one error away, or one hit away from him having a superb outing, so tonight hopefully we score some runs for him and he can keep us in the game as long as possible.”
Corbin stranded two Rockies in the first, after giving up a one-out double by Yonathan Daza and a two-out walk to C.J. Cron, then he came back out for the top of the second with a 4-0 lead, and gave up a leadoff double to left field by Brandon Rodgers, and one-out RBI single by José Iglesias which got the Rockies on the board, 4-1.
Daza walked with one down in the Rockies’ third, and scored on a triple to right by Charlie Blackmon, who came in on a groundout by Cron in the next at-bat, 4-3.
The Rockies loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Corbin got a 6-4-3 DP out of Cron to escape another jam, with the 11-pitch inning leaving him at 68 total over five.
A quick, five-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth had at 73, with 27 pitches total between the 4th and 6th, after he threw 46 in the first three frames, and he came back out for the seventh and allowed a 1-out hit before he was lifted from what ended up a 7-3 win.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: (W, 1-7), 6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 80 P, 54 S, 10/3 GO/FO.
“I liked the way he pitched,” Martinez said after Corbin earned his first win of the year.
“Like I’ve said, he’s been pitching well, he keeps the ball on the ground like that we’re going to win some games behind him, and we scored some runs for him today.”
The difference for Corbin in his recent outings?
“I truly think, like I said, he’s getting behind all his pitches now, and he’s keeping the ball down, he’s locating his fastball really well, and if you noticed, he’s not spiking as many sliders. His sliders are around the zone. We want to keep him down, but it’s usually over the plate and down, and that’s where he needs to be. He threw a lot more two-seamers today, threw some changeups, but everything was down and his two-seamer was working really well.”
“I felt good,” Corbin said after the game.
“I pitched pretty well against these guys in Colorado, they were really aggressive then, and they were pretty aggressive again tonight, so just trying to make quality pitches, felt really good, got ahead of them, threw a bunch of sliders today that were good, so pleased with everything.”
And getting that first win out of the way?
“It’s always good to get a win, it stinks it’s this late, I feel like I’ve been throwing pretty well, but that’s baseball,” Corbin said. “It sometimes doesn’t matter how you pitch, if their guy’s out there throwing really well, but obviously it’s good, I’m glad it’s behind us, and hopefully come back tomorrow and get another win.”
He’s felt good in spite of the results in recent outings, so how did he feel after getting a win in a solid start?
“I don’t know,” Corbin said.
“I’ve been feeling really good. I know maybe the numbers aren’t saying it, or we necessarily weren’t winning those games, but I feel like I’m just going to continue to build off this, and I’ve been trending in a good direction, so just I’ve been pleased and it’s good to see us get a win today.”