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Washington Nationals settle for split in San Diego, drop final two with Padres, both by 2-1 scores...

Davey Martinez club took the first two in Petco Park, but the Padres got games 3-4 to earn a split...

Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

Corbin in SD:

Patrick Corbin got an extended break, with ten days off between his last two outings before today, over which he worked hard to tweak his mechanics, and try to find something which could turn things around three years into his struggles on the hill.

A solid six-inning outing, in which he gave up six hits, two walks, and four earned runs, was something of a step in the right direction for the 33-year-old veteran.

“I thought Corbin threw the ball a lot better,” manager Davey Martinez said after the southpaw returned to the Nats’ rotation to face the Chicago Cubs.

“For the most part he kept us in the game there. He threw the ball better, he threw a lot more changeups, some good ones, and like I said, he’s just got to keep working on getting the ball down, when he’s down, he was effective, a couple balls he left up, he got hit, but that was way better. I mean, he was throwing downhill, ball was coming out good, so that was good.”

Going up against the San Diego Padres today, in the finale of the four-game set in Petco Park, Corbin had traffic on the bases in each of the first three innings, but he managed to avoid any damage in terms of runs. Up to 54 pitches total after he got through three, the lefty took the mound in the fourth with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a true bomb of a home run by Nelson Cruz in the top of the inning, and stranded a one-out single and a walk in a 21-pitch frame which left him at 75 total after four scoreless.

After working around a one-out single in an 11-pitch fifth, Corbin came back out in the sixth at 86 pitches, and gave up a leadoff double by Brandon Drury and a two-run homer off Josh Bell’s bat, 2-1 Padres. That escalated quickly. Second HR in two days for Bell. 16th of the season.

A one-out single by Jurickson Profar, on Corbin’s 97th pitch, ended the starter’s outing rather abruptly...

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 97 P, 56 S, 6/4 GO/FO.

M-A-N-A-E-A [DING!]:

Acquired from the Oakland A’s this past April, lefty Sean Manaea, 30, had been up and down over 22 outings for San Diego, with a 4.83 ERA, a 4.41 FIP, 45 walks, 128 Ks, and a .250/.315/.446 line against in 123 IP before today.

In three starts this month, Manaea had put up a 9.69 ERA, 4.66 FIP, and a .345/.397/.586 line against in his last 13 innings of work.

The southpaw tossed 3 13 scoreless to start today’s game, but gave up a 440-foot shot off Nelson Cruz’s bat on a 2-0 sinker which bounced off the painted WESTERN METAL SUPPLY CO. sign on the brick wall above the upper deck of the building in left field in Petco Park.

No. 10 for Cruz in 2022. An absolute bomb. 1-0 Nationals.

Manaea was super-efficient this afternoon, with just 48 pitches through five, and 59 after an 11-pitch six, which ended with an out at second base on a line drive to left by Joey Meneses which Jurickson Profac caught on a bounce off the top of the wall before firing a strike to the bag in time to get Meneses (who didn’t exactly sprint out of the box on what ended up a few feet short of a home run).

A 10-pitch seventh, in which he got help from the home plate ump on a called third strike to Nelson Cruz (which was not a strike), left Manaea at 69 pitches total.

That was it for the southpaw, in spite of the low pitch count through seven innings...

Sean Manaea’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 69 P, 51 S, 5/6 GO/FO.

Bad Streak, Bad Streak!!!:

In their pregame notes for today’s game, the Nationals highlighted a not-so-great-but-for-reals-pitcher-wins-are-really-totally-stupid-or-at-least-not-a-measure-of-pitcher-success stat:

“A Nationals’ starting pitcher has not been credited with a win since Josiah Gray on July 6 at Philadelphia - a span of 38 games...

“According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 38 straight games played without earning a win by a starting pitcher is the longest such streak in Major League Baseball history.”

Bullpen Action:

Hunter Harvey took over for Patrick Corbin with a runner on and one out in the bottom of the sixth, and got an inning-ending double play on his third pitch. 2-1 Padres.

Robert Suarez came on for the home team with a 2-1 lead in the eighth, and retired the first two batters he faced before a Keibert Ruiz double and Alex Call single brought his pitching coach out for a chat.

Erasmo Ramírez retired the Padres in on order in the bottom of the eighth.

Nick Martinez got the save opportunity for San Diego, and retired the Nats in order to end it.

Nationals now 41-82