Patrick Corbin got up 0-2 on Ronald Acuña, Jr., threw three straight balls to go full, then left a slider up and in to the Braves’ leadoff man, who hit his 40th HR of 2023 out to left field in Nationals Park to start Friday night’s game in the Washington Nationals’ home.
One batter later, after a single by Ozzie Albies, Corbin left an 0-2 sinker up and in to Austin Riley, who hit it 434 ft. to left-center field for his 37th homer this year and a 3-0 lead early in what ended up a 9-6 win for Atlanta.
Corbin gave up five hits and five earned runs total in 4 1⁄3 IP, walking one batter and striking out one in a 68-pitch effort against the Nats’ divisional rivals.
“Obviously, they have one of the best lineups in the game,” Corbin said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman:
“You try to make your pitches. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. They’ve been doing this to a lot of teams this season.”
“That lineup through and through they’re having an unbelievable year, all of them,” manager Davey Martinez said after the loss.
“When you got those many guys with 100 RBIs, 30+ home runs, it’s a tough lineup, it is.”
The home team did battle back, getting within a run by the sixth, but Marcell Ozuna’s three-run home run off of reliever Andrès Machado provided the runs the Braves needed in the second game of this weekend’s four-game series, which wraps up today with a twin-bill in D.C.
The final two home games for the Nats will be played today now, after the third game of the series was postponed on Saturday, well in advance of the rain from Tropical Storm Ophelia arriving in the nation’s capital.
How will the home team handle their pitching?
“I’m going to go back inside and figure out what’s going to transpire,” Martinez said after Friday’s loss. “It’s supposed to rain pretty good. It stinks, but we could use a day off. We really can. We’re at the back end of a long stint of playing every day, so we’ll come back and we’ll figure it out. I’ll sit in there with [Pitching Coach Jim] Hickey and have a game plan for Sunday.”
Note: Jackson Rutledge and Joan Adon are listed as the starters for the 1:35 and 6:35 games this afternoon, respectively.
Irvin to IL:
Jake Irvin got knocked around a bit (for five runs on seven hits and three walks over 2 2⁄3 IP over which he threw 80 total pitches) in Thursday night’s series opener with the Braves, and during the second game this weekend, the Nationals announced that the 26-year-old right-handed was placed on the IL with right ankle tendinitis.
“He’s got a foot — his right foot. His ankle is a little swollen, so he’s going to get X-rays, MRIs,” manager Davey Martinez said after Friday’s loss.
“I don’t know what transpired, but his foot was pretty swollen.”
Martinez said after Thursday’s loss he felt confident Irvin would like another start to end his season on a better note, but that won’t happen now.
“He fought me a little bit. He wanted to finish the season,” Martinez said. “I told him: ‘You were really good this year. Let’s build off that, and get you ready for next year.’”