The last time Patrick Corbin pitched in the 9th inning as a starter was August 20th, 2013. Of course, Patrick was coming off an All-Star appearance, and looking to build on that season before hurting his arm in Spring Training and needing Tommy John. His longest start since then was the 7 1/3rds IP he threw last month. We all complain about Patrick and his inconsistency but he’s still developing as a starter, and today proved it might be starting to click for him again.
It didn’t look like that in the 1st, as George Springer singled to lead things off for the Astros. No matter! Corbin induced two flyouts and a pickoff erased Springer for the 3rd out. The 2nd was more of the same, with 2 grounders and a flyout taking an obscene 8 pitches to get out of the inning.
The D-backs offense was having a no more success than the Astros against Mike Fiers, with Pollock caught stealing after his single in the first and Paul Goldschmidt’s single wiped away with a J..D Martinez double play.
The offense finally supported the excellent start from Corbin in the 3rd, as Ketel Marte and Chris Herrmann walking. Jeff Mathis probably should’ve walked in his at-bat, taking a pitch outside the zone for a strike before grounding the 3-2 pitch into right field for a run, 1-0. But that was it for the offense, Peralta popped out and Pollock/Lamb struck out to leave a runner in scoring position.
The Astros threatened in their half of the 3rd, with Jake Marisnick singling to left and Springer reaching on a Marte error to put runners at 3rd and 2nd. But Marte redeemed himself, easily retiring Bregman on a grounder to end the threat.
Weird stuff happened in the 4th, Daniel Descalso drove a ball deep into right-centerfield, and Marisnick misplayed the ball off the wall as it kicked back into center, allowing Descalso to come all the way around for an inside the park home run (2-0), the team’s 3rd of the year. Here is a moving picture giving better detail of the incident.
Corbin was feeling it at this point, finally getting his swing and miss stuff to play. The Astros struck out 8 times this game, all of them coming from the 4th inning onward. He’d need it, as the defense struggled, as per usual.
In the 5th, Lamb botched a grounder from J.D. Davis and Marte picked up, firing the ball into the stands for a throwing error. That’s the super common two error in one play that all coaches and fans love. Corbin paid no mind, giving Lamb another grounder, who fired to 1st for the 2nd out. Davis tested Goldy’s arm at 1st and was punished, getting thrown out at 3rd for the even more common 5-3-6 double play.
Jake Lamb homered in the 6th, 3-0 D-backs. He hit it pretty hard.
The Astros tried to respond in the 6th, getting runners on 1st and 2nd (Marisnick single and Springer walk) but Corbin was unfazed getting a flyout and 2 strikeouts to end the threat.
The 8th saw the D-backs capitalize on an Astros error for an important insurance run (fine, it made it so Rodney wouldn’t pitch). Peralta and Pollock singled, bringing up Lamb who struck out. But a wild pitch moved the runners up and the attempted throw sailed into left field, scoring Peralta. Goldy was intentionally walked to bring up Martinez, who hit into a double play.
Corbin used 13 pitches in the 8th to go 1-2-3 and came out in the 9th just under 100 pitches. Lovullo kept him out there and he was great! Except a 2-out double ruined his chances of a complete game shutout, so Archie Bradley came on and struck out Marwin Gonzalez on some very borderline pitches for the 3rd out, securing the series split against a very good Astros team. Onto the GameGraph!
Your Player of the Game is Patrick Corbin (+42.3%). Other standouts were Ketel Marte (13.9%) and Daniel Descalso (8.3%).
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