Christian Yelich hit Patrick Corbin’s fifth pitch of the game on Saturday 422 feet, taking the 2-2 slider Washington’s starter left up, and pretty much middle-middle, out over the center field fence for a leadoff home run in the second of three for Milwaukee in D.C., but the lefty held it there through six, as the Nationals built up an 8-1 lead in what ended up an 8-6 win.
Corbin the left the game after giving up back-to-back doubles, a two-run home run, and a single in the seventh, as he got up to 103 pitches in six-plus, walking two, striking out two, generating just six swinging strikes, five with his slider, but getting 17 called strikes, seven with his fastball, five with his sinker, and five with his slider in the end.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HRs, 103 P, 63 S, 7/5 GO/FO.
“It was just a really good swing by Yelich there,” Corbin told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, of the homer in the first at-bat, “... a slider that just spun out and caught a little too much of the plate. Even though it’s the first batter, there’s a long way to go. You’ve just got to lock it in and make pitches.”
Corbin was up to just 88 pitches after six. He threw 25 in the seventh without recording an out, and his manager said it was a change in approach that stood out as things turned late.
“He just fell behind,” Davey Martinez said. “He fell behind every hitter. When he was ahead of every hitter, he was really, really good. He was starting to throw balls up. I thought him and [catcher] Riley [Adams] worked really well together, and they mixed in a bunch of different pitches, had good sequences all game, and then all of a sudden the seventh inning, it was almost like it was fastball, fastball, fastball, fastball, fastball, and he didn’t throw very many breaking balls.
“In that situation, as you get deep into games, I just think you’ve got to keep pitching, keep making your pitches.
“Like I said, he fell behind, and once he feel behind, they started hitting the ball well.”
Martinez said the run support for Corbin played a big role in how the southpaw approached the outing as he settled in after giving up the early run.
His teammates scored four in the top of the third, and four more in the fifth, with Juan Soto Nelson Cruz, and Josh Bell hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs as the home team went up 8-1.
“It’s huge,” Martinez said of the support. “Not only for our lineup, but for our pitching staff as well. When we start scoring runs like that, you see a sense of relief. Our pitchers can go out there and make pitches and not worry about a 0-0 game, the 1-0 game, so it just goes hand-in-hand. For me, these guys ... we built this lineup for this reason. They’re starting to swing the bats, it’s really nice to see them swinging the bats the way they’re swinging, and like I said, the pitchers are starting to throw the balls the way we thought they could, so — and they’re keeping us in the ballgames, so all the way around the last two days were really good.”
Back-to-back wins over the Brewers, and three wins in his last four outings for Corbin.