Patrick Corbin retired the first eight Philadelphia Phillies’ hitters he faced last time out before Wednesday night’s start in Baltimore, and he would have been out of the third on 38 pitches overall if not for an error by César Hernández on a grounder back up the middle which skipped off the mound and shot by the infielder. Corbin was up to only 11 pitches in the third when the error occurred, and he ended up throwing 46 pitches in the inning, giving up a home run in the at-bat after the E:4, then five more hits after that, with a walk and a second error extended the inning which ended with the lefty at 73 after three.
He threw 11 more pitches in the fourth, giving up a home run and a single around an out to finish his outing at 84 pitches overall in 3 1/3.
“Patrick after that [error], he fell behind hitters, couldn’t put hitters away, the wheel fell off,” manager Davey Martinez said after what ended up a 10-1 loss for the Nationals.
“And then he couldn’t really get back in that groove. But I thought he was throwing the ball really well today and then that happened.”
“I felt really good,” Corbin said after that game, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“And then I think I threw maybe  pitches in that inning, and kind of was just shot after that.”
During GM Mike Rizzo’s weekly visit with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday, one of the Junkies said he’s actually feeling bad for Corbin at this point, especially after watching how it went down against the Phillies, with poor defense behind him leading to the wheel(s) falling off.
“I do too,” Rizzo told the Junkies. “Like I said all along, his stuff is solid — he still has velocity, spin rate, and all that stuff — but he’s gotta get out his own way sometimes. Defense hasn’t helped him recently. But it’s the big leagues, there’s no pity party for him. There’s nobody felt sorry for him. He’s got to go out there, attack the strike zone, pitch inside, and be aggressive and be the guy that finished in the Top 10 in Cy Young awards for two seasons in a row there [in 2018-19].
“Errors happen. We blame the defense for errors, but those are the same guys who are diving over walls, and diving into dugouts to save runs for you too, but sometimes when bad things happens, you’ve got to pick up your teammates and make pitches, and that type of thing. And Patrick knows that, he’s a veteran, he’s a pro, he’s done it at the highest level, in the most leveraged games that you can be in and been great.
“He’s got the pedigree to do it. Like I said, we need to play — especially with Patrick, we need to have a clean game defensively in the infield, because he throws a lot of ground balls, and you got to make the plays, and that’s something we haven’t done for him throughout this season.”
Corbin had 16 of 31 pitches fouled off in the first inning on Wednesday night in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, as one run scored for the Orioles, but the home team stranded two after back-to-back hits and a one-out RBI double to start things.
Austin Hays hit a hanging, 0-2 slider 405 feet to left to lead off the bottom of the third, 2-0, and 3-0 when Anthony Santander hit a 3-0 sinker out to left-center one out later, a 414-foot shot. Corbin threw 30 pitches total in the third, and was up to 73 total after three, with eight swinging strikes, seven called, and 29 pitches fouled off which ran his pitch count up.
Corbin worked around a two-out triple by Hays (who ended up hitting for the cycle) in a 10-pitch fourth which ended his start after four innings and 83 pitches.
He picked up 12 swinging and eight called strikes overall in the outing, but O’s hitters fouled off 30 of 83 pitches in the end, knocking him out early in what ended up a rain-shortened 7-0 loss for the Nationals.
“They did foul off a lot; I’m not quite sure why that was the case,” Corbin said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the game. “I thought we made some good pitches, and they fought it off. They came out swinging; they swung a lot, even when we got ahead, and they continued to foul off some pitches. Just a strange game.”