Corbin in Oracle Park:
After he’d recorded three quick outs in a 13-pitch seventh against Chicago’s Cubs last week, Patrick Corbin was up to just 77 pitches total, and he’d retired 21 of 22 batters in the outing in Nationals Park.
Back-to-back singles in the eighth inning ended Corbin’s outing, after 80 pitches in 7+ IP, and the two runners he left on came around to score for the only two runs he allowed in the start.
“I thought everything was good,” Corbin told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco.
“Fastball command was good. I used the changeup quite a bit today. Good sliders, caught them off balance, got some quick outs.
“Just was in rhythm kind of all day with [catcher Riley] Adams and defense made plays behind me.”
“Hey, he’s thrown the ball six out of the last seven times really well,” Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters after the 4-3 win over the Cubs.
“Today was really the Patrick Corbin we’ve seen before. He’s doing awesome. He really is. So if he can continue to do, that keep us in the games, we’ll win some games for him.”
A throwing error by CJ Abrams on a grounder to short by Austin Slater, and line drive single to right by Thairo Estrada put runners on the corners for the Giants just five pitches into the Corbin’s start in the second of three for the Nats in Oracle Park, and a 2-run double into the right-center gap off Mitch Haniger’s bat drove both runners in, 2-0 after one.
Corbin worked around a two-out throwing error by Abrams, a single, and a wild pitch, in the second, in a 16-pitch frame, and set the Giants down in order in a nine-pitch third, but in the bottom of the fourth, debuting Casey Schmitt hit his first big league home run 420 ft. out to center field in San Francisco, 3-0.
With two out in the Giants’ fifth, Corbin took a line drive back to the mound off of his left cheek/side of his head, but he shook it off, and he stayed on to get the third out... still 3-0.
Corbin (with some swelling on the left side of his face), returned to the mound in the sixth, and gave up back-to-back, one-out singles to center, both of them buzzing his tower, then he retired the next two batters to complete his sixth inning of work...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 96 P, 66 S, 10/5 GO/FO.
“The ball kind of hit him in the forearm first and then grazes his head,” Corbin’s manager said after a 4-1 loss to the Giants. “So we wanted to make sure he was okay, checked him out, and he said he felt fine. He went out there and actually threw the ball well, so we’ll check on him again, I know he got checked on when he came out. I’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow. Luckily he was able to deflect it with his arm.”
Having known Corbin for years, Martinez said he wasn’t surprised the lefty decided to stay in the game after the scare.
“I was just, man — I couldn’t get out there fast enough,” Martinez said.
“I got caught up in the dugout a little bit, but you know, scary. I did see the ball clip him in the head, but he said it just grazed him.”
• CJ Abrams Ks with runners on 2nd/3rd 1 out in 2nd. Jake Alu Ks swinging too. Lane Thomas 3rd straight K for Giants’ starter Logan Webb.
• Luis García and Abrams hit back-to-back singles to start the Nats’ third, but Joey Meneses hits into a 6-4-3 DP. Jeimer Candelario stepped in with two out and ... a groundout. 0 for 7 with RISP and 7 LOB, 2-0 Giants.
• Joey Meneses reached on a playable grounder to J.D. Davis’s backhand at third in the first at-bat of the Nats’ 6th, and moved to third on a groundout by Jeimer Candelario, 0 for 8 w/ RISP, but Dominic Smith made it 1 for 9 with his 3rd hit in 3 PAs, 3-1 Giants. Alex Call was 2 for 3 on the night after lining a single to center in the next at-bat, and both runners moved up on a CJ Abrams’ groundout, 1 for 10 w/ RISP. And 1 for 11 when Jake Alu K’d swinging for out No. 3.
• Abrams grounded out weakly with runners on first/second and two out in the top of the 8th inning, leaving the Nationals 1 for 12 with RISP and 10 LOB on the night.
“We had traffic all day, we just couldn’t get that big hit,” Martinez said after the Giants set up a rubber match today with last night’s win.
“I think some moments we put the ball in play, but we couldn’t get that — but [Webb] got tough.
“When guys were on base he threw some really good changeups, mixed in his two-seamer, but he got really tough with guys on base.”
Mason Thompson gave up a leadoff walk and a two-out RBI single in the Giants’ seventh, 4-1.
Tyler Rogers worked around a two-out walk to Dom Smith and a single by Alex Call in the Nats’ eighth.
Hobie Harris kept it a 4-1 game in the Giants’ favor with a scoreless eighth.
Camilo Doval wrapped things up with a 1-2-3 ninth. Giants win, 4-1.
When Jake Alu took the field in Oracle Park last night, the 26-year-old, 2019 24th Round pick out of the University of Oklahoma became, “the lowest drafted position player to make his MLB debut with the Nationals in team history (2005-pres.),” as the club noted in the game notes for last night’s matchup with the Giants.
Called up with Victor Robles IL’d with a back issue, Alu, who put up a .282/.341/.452 line in four minor league seasons, got his first start after getting settled in with the team Monday night.
Alu, “... was the ‘Nationals Way’ Award winner after he led the system in AVG (.298), SLG (.507), OPS (.872), 2B (40), XBH (62) and total bases (252),” in 2022, and he worked back from a knee injury early this season to earn the opportunity after he was added to the 40-man roster this past winter to protect him from selection in the Rule 5 Draft.
“I watched him take fly balls — he came in early today and took some fly balls out there and ran around,” Davey Martinez said once he’d penciled Alu into the lineup for the 2nd of 3 with the Giants in San Francisco.
“So he gets the opportunity to play for us today, and get that first one out of the way so he can relax a little bit and have fun.”
Previewing what he expected to see from Alu in his debut, Martinez said he wanted to see the same approach that earned the infielder/outfielder his first big league opportunity.
“He’s a guy that he’s going to put the ball in play, he stays in the middle of the field. For me it’s just hit strikes, don’t chase, and when he does that he’s pretty good,” Martinez said.
Alu took a called strike on his first pitch in his first plate appearance in the majors, fouled off a changeup, 0-2, laid off a high fastball from Giants’ starter Logan Webb, 1-2, but then he K’d swinging on a low changeup, for his first MLB strikeout.
He sent a fly to left on a high, first-pitch fastball inside the second time up, 0 for 2, and he K’d swinging with 2 on and 2 out in the sixth inning, 0 for 3. And 0 for 4 with three Ks after striking out in the ninth.
Garcìa Multi-Streaking; Not Chasing:
With the first of his two hits on Monday in San Francisco, Luis García extended a hit streak to four straight games, and with the second hit, the 22-year-old infielder had a four-game multi-hit game streak going, over which he was 10 for 18 (.556 AVG), with two doubles, a home run, and a walk.
Garcìa’s 13 for 31 (.419/.471/.613) start in May had him at .277/.320/.420 going into the 2nd of 3 with the Giants in Oracle Park last night.
“I think for me [it’s] just getting the ball in the zone, no chasing,” Davey Martinez said of the recent run for García when he spoke in the manager’s post game following a 5-1 win in their series opener in San Francisco.
“I think his chase rate now is kind of down around 23-24%, which is awesome, and that’s something that we worked on with him for almost a year now, and he’s getting better, he’s understanding who he is and what ball he wants to hit, and doing really well.”
#Nats’ 2B Luis García is 10 for 18 (.556 AVG), w/ 2 doubles, 1 HR, and a BB in a 4-game, multi-hit game streak. Garcìa’s 13 for 31 (.419/.471/.613) start in May has him at .277/.320/.420 going in to the 2nd of 3 with the Giants in Oracle Park.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) May 9, 2023
Davey Martinez on García’s Chase%: pic.twitter.com/Wct3q64CQv
Baseball Savant had Garcìa’s Chase% at 23.4% after last night’s game, down from 40.8% last season and 35% for his career. So yeah, that’s going to help.
“I love the way he’s playing the game,” his manager added.
“He’s playing the game the way we felt like he could play the game.”
García extended the hit streak to five-straight games with a single in his second trip to the plate in the top of the third, but that was his only hit of the night.