“He’s been attacking the strike zone, and I talked a lot about his slider, and it looks like his fastball coming in, so it’s been very effective,” Davey Martinez said after watching Patrick Corbin go eight-strong against Miami last week, allowing just one run in a 97-pitch outing which continued a four-start stretch for the lefty (2.82 ERA, 4.54 FIP, still a .295/.330/.537 line against) in which he’s started to look more like he did in 2018-19 than he has in ‘20-’21- and the first few months of 2022.
Martinez said before Saturday’s game he was hoping for more of the same from the lefty.
“I don’t want him to change anything, I just want him to continue to attack the hitters, get ahead, and like I said, his slider has been really, really, really good the last couple outings, so I just want him to go out there and just compete. Right now he’s pitching really well.”
Corbin gave up a leadoff single on a sinker to Ronald Acuña, Jr. in yesterday’s game with the Braves in Atlanta, and two outs later he left a slider up for Austin Riley, who hit it a long way (422 feet) to left field for a two-run home run, the 15th the Nationals’ lefty has allowed in 89 IP this season.
Riley, on a 1-2 slider, and Travis d’Arnaud, on a 2-0 sinker, hit back-to-back singles off Corbin in the bottom of the fourth, and Riley scored on an Eddie Rosario single to short, on which Luis García committed a throwing error, allowing the run in, 3-1, before d’Arnaud scored on a single by Orlando Arcia, 4-1. Atlanta loaded the bases with two out, but left them loaded in a 32-pitch inning by Corbin, who was up to 76 total after four.
Corbin got an inning-ending double play after walking Riley with one out in the bottom of the fifth, and he was up to 88 pitches after the 12-pitch inning, and his 14-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth left him at 102 total on the night.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 102 P, 61 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Corbin got 19 swings and 14 swinging strikes on his slider (74%) when he went up against the Pittsburgh Pirates two starts back, and seven swingings strikes on 15 swings when he faced the Marlins (47%). He got eight whiffs on 13 swings on the 26 sliders he threw to the Braves (62%), but went fastball heavy, throwing 38% sinkers, and 30% four-seam fastballs, with which he got nine of 16 called strikes overall.
He told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco, the slider Riley hit out in the first was a “bad breaking ball,” but, he said, “I think other than that,” the outing was, “pretty good.”
“I thought Corbin threw the ball really well again,” Martinez said after the 4-3 loss in Atlanta.
“Just a homer and an error got us today. But he was really good again, which is what we love to see. He’s had some really good outings as of late, so we got to keep him right there.”