Patrick Corbin earned his first win of the 2022 campaign with 6 1⁄3 strong on the mound in the nation’s capital against the Colorado Rockies, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and two walks, but the lefty followed up with a tough start in New York’s Citi Field, allowing 12 hits, two walks, and seven runs in just 4 1⁄3 in which he threw a season-high 106 pitches.
“I felt like he was around the zone, had a lot of two-strike counts, couldn’t finish,” Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez said after Corbin’s outing against the Mets.
“I’m seeing a guy that’s not locating his fastball,” GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies the next morning, when asked about the left-hander’s continuing struggles.
“Whether it was a ball that found its way through the infield, they didn’t hit many balls hard,” Martinez added, and 11 of 12 hits in the game were singles, though the 12th was a 2-run home run in the second at-bat of Corbin’s start.
“It’s tough,” the 32-year-old lefty told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“You try to make the best pitches you can. Tonight was just one of those strange days where I felt good, I thought my stuff was pretty good and a bunch of those hits there, I’ll probably look at it tomorrow, see if there’s some things I could’ve done differently. But it’s frustrating, especially when you feel pretty good.”
Going into his 12th start of the season, Corbin’s manager said he was just hoping to see his starter go deep and continue to build on what he’s done well in the previous outings.
“I’m hoping he goes deep in the game. I don’t know where our bullpen is at right now, but he’s been throwing the ball — I know he gave up some hits, but he’s been throwing the ball really well, keeping the ball on the ground for the most part, so hopefully he goes out there and does the same thing today and gives us some length.”
Corbin took the mound in Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park on Sunday with a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a two-out, two-run double by Josh Bell in the top of the first, but leadoff and one-out singles, the second an RBI hit, and two RBI doubles later, the Reds were up 3-2 on the visiting Nationals, and it took the southpaw 26 pitches to get through the bottom of the inning.
An eight-pitch second, 15-pitch third, and a 16-pitch fourth extended his outing after the rough first, and Corbin got a double play to end a nine-pitch fifth, then worked around a single in a 17-pitch sixth which left him at 91 total.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 91 P, 58 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Corbind held the Reds off the board after the first, and his teammates helped pick him up, with two in the fourth, 4-3, and one in the sixth, 5-3, and they held on for a 5-4 win, taking 3 of 4 in the Reds’ home with Corbin’s contributions.
“After giving up three, Patrick settled down, gave us some big innings,” his manager said after the win. “That last [sixth] inning, he came out, and we needed that inning. Our bullpen was a little beat up. As you could see we closed with [Steve] Cishek, but the bullpen did a great job.”
“I felt pretty good overall,” Corbin said after the outing, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco. “They found some holes there in the first. Thought I made a couple of good pitches. They had some good swings there for a couple of hits. But just kind of stuck with our game plan and everything. Got in a really good rhythm there with (catcher Keibert) Ruiz and was able to finish the game strong and put up five zeros.”
Corbin’s quick, 1-2-3 second, helped him settle in and he was fairly effective the rest of the way, generating nine swinging strikes, seven with his slider, and collecting 13 called strikes, five with his sinker, six with his slider, and two with his four-seamer, and the fact that he got the club through six was big.
“Huge,” Martinez qualified. “Like I said, when I’m mapping this whole thing out and knowing where our bullpen status is, we needed him to eat up innings, and once he settled down, he came back out and I think he threw [eight] pitches [in] that [second] inning, I said, okay, now let’s see how much we can get out of him, and he was really good. His pitches, his slider had some bite there at the end, he threw some good ones, his changeup was very effective, kept the ball down, which we want him to do, so he gave us what we needed, and a hot day like today, six innings, 90-something pitches, was awesome.”