Quotes of the Day
"I'm just getting ahead with my fastball, and I think most of the strikeouts were on sliders. Just able to get ahead with my heater, strike them out with my slider and just keep them off balance."
“I think in the spring, I came in with the same mind-set that I have now. I wanted to go out there and make sure I was ready for every start. I try to go out there and pound the strike zone, and so far I’ve been able to do that. I know there are a lot of starts left, and I just want to make sure that I can keep it going.”
“If you’ve got an uptick in velocity like that, you can get away with a few more things. The way he’s throwing now, he doesn’t even need to get away with stuff. He’s locating, with plus velocity, with a plus slider, and executing game plans. It’s a pretty unbeatable combination.”
After walking the first batter of the ballgame, Patrick Corbin shifted into cruise control, fanning 10 Rockies over 9 innings for his first complete game in the majors. Corbin's complete game was the second in three nights for the Diamondbacks' pitching staff as Brandon McCarthy went the distance on Saturday in Miami. The Diamondbacks starters are now 8-3 with a 2.24 ERA over their last 14 games.
Nick Piecoro traces the origins of Patrick Corbin's career with the Diamondbacks, noting that Corbin was somewhat lost in the shuffle of the Diamondbacks' highly rated pitching prospects - being ranked only the 7th best pitching prospect in the D-Back's system prior to this year.
Mark Simon of ESPN breaks down Corbin's start from last night, noting that the lefty threw 74 of his 97 pitches for strikes despite only half of his pitches being thrown inside the pitch f/x strike zone. On the topic of swing-and-miss, opponents have taken 94 cuts at Corbin's breaking ball and have come up empty 54 times.
The central conceit of this article is a little distracting (McKayla Maroney's incredulous visage is used to represent the dubiousness, or "doobs," of a player's early numbers), but Jeff Passan brings us a lot of good info on Patrick Corbin and Paul Golschmidt.
On Corbin's hot start, Passan quotes an NL scout as saying, "I thought he was a [No.] 4 or 5. I've seen him twice now, and I think he's at worst a 3 and very easily could be a 2. He's got command, that sinker is a kamikaze and he's fearless." Yet, Passan notes, the numbers do not necessarily bear the scout's take out. "[The numbers] say his .259 BABIP is too low, especially for a groundball pitcher. (True.) And they say his strand rate – the percentage of players left on base at the end of innings – is absurd at 89.2 percent. (Yup. Only Jeremy Guthrie and Matt Moore's are higher.) And they worry his home runs-per-flyball rate is unsustainably low. In essence, while a 1.52 ERA and 6-0 record say Corbin is a much better pitcher than last season, the peripherals say otherwise."
He is much less dubious of Paul Goldschmidt's hot start, however, writing that "at 25, Goldschmidt is entering his prime years, and as much fun as it is seeing Bryce Harper and Mike Trout and other no-doubt talents ply their trade, watching the evolution of a player like Goldschmidt is a different sort of treat. He wasn't supposed to be this, not even close. That he is – and that McKayla isn't doobsing him – makes his story all the better."
Also from Passan, a reaction to the Dan Haren deal. Passan highlighted this piece on twitter as one of those columns that you look back on and cringe.
Around the League
"You could reasonably argue that management has done a masterful job building the Diamondbacks into winners this year, that the proof lies in their charge to the top of the standings. Or you could posit that the front office did more harm than good, that trading away Upton was a terrible idea that will haunt them through 2015, that they owe a big chunk of their success to dumb luck because Parra might've been stapled to the bench if not for injuries, and that Mike Rizzo, Tom Allison, and company deserve the lion's share of the credit for what's happened in the desert. Either way, the Snakes are winning, and they've got the talent to keep it up."
In case you missed it, Troy Tulowitzki has an "interesting" way of shaking "hands."