In his final first-half outing, Patrick Corbin held the Texas Rangers to a run on five hits in his seven innings of work on the mound, walking one and striking out six in a 91-pitch effort at home in Washington, D.C.
Corbin followed up on the positive start with 5 1⁄3 innings on the mound against the Cubs in Chicago’s Wrigley Field, giving up six hits, a walk, and three earned runs in what ended up a lopsided loss.
His manager, Davey Martinez, liked what he saw from the recently-turned 34-year-old lefty in both of the outings.
“His fastball was good location,” Martinez said after the start against the Rangers.
“His slider was really good early on. Really good. I think that was the big difference that once he established his slider, then the fastball played in. But when he gets ahead, he’s really good.”
There was a stretch where he started getting up in the zone, but Martinez said he liked how his starter settled down and got locked back in to doing what was working.
“I was a little bit concerned. But then he settled back down and started throwing strikes again, down in the zone.”
Martinez said he wanted to see Corbin build on the outings going into last night’s opener with the Colorado Rockies in the nation’s capital.
NoJo knows how to knock 'em out of the park pic.twitter.com/LhhWRFH36y— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) July 25, 2023
“He’s had some really good outings,” Martinez told reporters. “I just want him to continue to go out there and compete. I mean, he’s throwing the ball well. As we all know, we had some of our youngsters throw this past weekend, they did well, so if he goes out there and gives us a chance to win it would be awesome.”
Corbin gave the Nationals 6 1⁄3 innings, (in which he threw 93 pitches), but he struggled in a tough start, giving up 10 hits, two walks, and six runs, five earned, in a 10-6 loss.
Corbin did generated 12 swinging strikes overall, nine on his slider (which he threw 39% of the time), and he got 10 called strikes too, six of them on his sinker (34%), but as MASN’s Mark Zuckerman noted, the 10 hits allowed were part of a trend for the southpaw over the past few years as he has struggled to reproduce the numbers he put up in 2018-19:
This is the 14th time Patrick Corbin has given up 10+ hits in a start since 2020. No other MLB pitcher has done it more than 5 times in that span.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) July 25, 2023
“It looked bad, but it really wasn’t that bad,” Martinez said of Corbin’s start, in what ended up a 10-6 loss. “Early hits, a lot of bleeders, couple ground balls that went in there. For me, the one bad pitch was the homer [by Nolan Jones in the sixth], left the slider up in the zone. But you know, the walks, the leadoff [walk] too, that was big.”
“He was cruising there early,” Martinez added, of Corbin retiring the first six batters in the start. “I thought he threw the ball well, just like I said, he gave a couple bleeders, and then a couple good base hits and next thing you know we were down.”
The loss to the Rockies snapped a three-game wining streak.
“We made some mistakes,” Martinez said. “Couple mistakes uncharacteristic to ourselves.
“We’ll have to bounce back tomorrow. The good thing is we started swinging the bat there at the end. Because we’ve been swinging the bat really well. Bats came alive, we just didn’t have enough, I mean, we gave up a bunch runs.
“So, we got to forget this one and come back tomorrow. We’ve been playing well, let’s just come back tomorrow and go 1-0 tomorrow.”
BACK PAGE - Victor Robles Update:
Scenes from the Nationals clubhouse: Ryan Zimmerman in team-issued workout clothes after doing something (ground balls?) on the field. A bunch of presents under a small Christmas tree. A new popcorn machine that @andrewcgolden informs me is not particularly new.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) July 24, 2023
And now Victor Robles is here and in a very good mood. Gave us a hearty “Media guys!” and then said he feels “much better.”— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) July 24, 2023
Victor Robles just bounded into the clubhouse full of energy. How’s he feeling? “Much better, thank you.”— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) July 24, 2023
Victor Robles returned from a 34-game absence to play five games between June 16th and 20th, but on the 21st he went back on the IL with the same back issue taking him out of the lineup again.
“I talked to him last night,” Martinez said after the return to the Injured List was announced.
“I had to really stress that he needed to be honest with me. And he said he was a bit sore, and that it bothered him running. It doesn’t bother him hitting, it bothers him running. So it’s still the same. It’s a back spasm of the lumbar spine. So we’re going to put him on the IL and we’re going to make sure that we get this right for him before he can come back.”
In 36 games and 126 plate appearances this season, Robles does have a .299/.385/.365 line with five doubles, 11 walks, and 18 Ks, but he’s played in just five games since he originally went on the IL back on May 6th.
Having him back in the nation’s capital on Monday even if he wasn’t going to play, brought a smile to his manager’s face.
“He’s here,” Martinez said. “We wanted him to come back [from West Palm Beach]. He’s going to start working out with us. We have so many guys now in Florida, I want to start putting eyes on him, try to see if we can get him going a little bit but he’s just still rehabbing, he’s working on the [AlterG] machine, doing a little bit of running. He said he feels better though, which is a great sign.”
Martinez talked with the now-26-year-old outfielder to get Robles’s own take on how he’s feeling these days.
“I talked to him for a little bit in my office and he said he feels much better. So we want to get eyes on him, get him to move around a little bit, and then we’ll go from there. But he always has that bubbly energy, but it’s good to see him moving. It’s good to see him. He’s that guy we always rely on him bringing that energy in the clubhouse and stuff, and on the field, so hopefully we can get him better here soon, and we can get him out and send him on a rehab assignment here in the near future and get him playing again.”
Considering the fact that he had the setback last time around, Martinez said, they’re being extremely cautious as they build the center fielder back up.
“We’re definitely going to take our time this time around,” Martinez explained.
“But he feels good. He’s doing a lot of different exercises to make sure he strengthens the core, keep the pressure off the back a little bit. So hopefully everything goes well.”