Patrick Corbin threw 45 pitches in 2⁄3 of an inning of work in the series finale in Los Angeles, giving up seven hits, one walk, and six earned runs, with a number of well-struck balls, and some shoddy defense behind him leading to an early exit for the recently-turned 33-year-old lefty, whose ongoing struggles have now continued for two and a half seasons.
Manager Davey Martinez watched Corbin give up hit after hit and ten batters into the series finale with the Dodgers he got his pitcher, going to the bullpen two outs into the bottom of the first.
“He faced 10 hitters. He was behind five, five of them. And then the guys he got ahead of, he just couldn’t put them away,” Martinez said after the club’s 7-1 loss, and Corbin’s fourth straight L. “That was the big deal right there. And he had a lot of pitches, so we had to go get him.”
Corbin began the month of July with a seven-inning outing against the Miami Marlins in which he gave up eight hits, a walk, and one earned run, but in four starts which have followed, he’s given up 32 hits, six walks, and 21 runs, 20 earned, in 16 2⁄3 IP (10.80 ERA, a 5.04 FIP, and a brutal .395/.437/.593 line against).
“I just didn’t fool them at all today,” Corbin said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the third of three in LA. “I got into some deeper counts with them. They put the ball in play, and good things happened for them. And I wasn’t able to get that last out there to try to go as deep as I can.”
You never like to pull your starter in the first, but Martinez said he didn’t see it getting any better.
“We could’ve gotten him out of there hopefully at 40-something pitches, and then maybe we see what he does the next couple innings,” the fifth-year skipper said.
“But it just wasn’t going to happen, you know. At some point, around the 40th pitch, I was getting a little worried. I don’t want to get him hurt.”
“I think obviously the more you throw in a shorter period of time, you probably lose some command and things like that,” Corbin added.
“I feel okay right now. But when you’re throwing that many in an inning, it definitely wears on the body a little bit.”
There’s also the burden on the bullpen of pulling a starter in the first, but with a day off after the final game on the Nats’ road trip, Martinez did what he had to do.
“It was — we were hoping that he could just get one more out and see where we’re at, but luckily tomorrow we have a day off, and our bullpen, once again our bullpen went out there and pitched very well, but they were the saviors of the day.”
“I guess it’s a good thing we’ve got an off-day tomorrow,” Corbin added, again, as quoted on MASN.
“But it sucks when you can’t go out there, do your job and pitch deep in games and try to save them.”
Corbin’s continued struggles, Martinez said, with his stuff where the pitcher and club want it, but the results not where anyone does, is a continuing source of frustration.
“For me, you’re looking at: He’s throwing the ball well, but he’s just not finishing,” Martinez explained. “It’s taking him extra pitches to finish hitters off. Today, I didn’t think his slider was all that sharp, and he left a couple up with two strikes, where the guys put the bat on the ball. But his fastball is good. His location was just a tack off. But like I said, when you fall behind, you’ve got to attack hitters. And when you get to two strikes and you can’t finish a hitter, especially these guys, they’re pretty good, so and that’s what happened today.”