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Diamondbacks 11, Nationals 6 - Unfriendly Reunion

Old friend Patrick Corbin faces his old team again, would he do better than the last time they met?

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Corbin is no stranger to the Diamondbacks. Acquired by the club in the Dan Haren deal all the way back in 2010, he was a major fixture on the team for 6 years, with two All-Star appearances and 56 wins to his name. He parlayed a career year in his final season to a massive, 6-year $140 million deal. Since signing with the Nationals, Corbin only has one game against his former squad, giving up 5 runs in a losing effort back in 2019. And while today is a new day, the results were the same.

Patrick started off well enough, getting a Locastro fly out to start the game. Unfortunately for Pat, Carson Kelly and Eduardo Escobar had other ideas. They went back-to-back, Carson to right and Escobar to center. The fun didn’t stop there, with Nick Ahmed and Pavin Smith going back-to-back, this time of the 2-out walk variety. Wyatt Mathisen singled to left, scoring Ahmed. Andrew Young was HBP, loading the bases for the pitcher but alas, the well ran dry and a routine grounder ended the inning 3-0 Dbacks.

Merrill Kelly looked to bounce back after a rough start in Colorado, he allowed 7 runs in a loss. His day started like Corbin’s, getting a quick out to start things off, but Juan Soto singled and took 2nd base after Andrew Young misplayed it out in left and Josh Bell took advantage of the inexperience with a one-hop ground-rule double that Young again misjudged. It looked like Kelly would get out with limited damage, but Josh Harrison blooped a two-strike fastball for a single, scoring Bell and Starlin Castro homered to right to give the Nationals the lead 4-3 after one.

Fortunately for Merill, the offense had his back en route to a 7-run inning. The offense went as follows:

  • Tim Locastro bunt single
  • Carson Kelly walk
  • Eduardo Escobar single
  • Asdrubal Cabrera strike out
  • Nick Ahmed fielder’s choice (Josh Harrison error),
    Tim Locastro scores
  • Pavin Smith walk
    Carson Kelly scores
  • Wyatt Mathisen hit by pitch
    Eduardo Escobar scores
  • Andrew Young grand slam home run
    Nick Ahmed, Pavin Smith, and Wyatt Mathisen scores

So nice, let’s watch it twice.

After the 7-run 2nd, both offenses quieted down. The Nationals went to the bullpen and it was really effective. The only blemish through their 7 innings of relief was a Pavin Smith homer in the 8th. They allowed 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3.

Merrill Kelly did his best with the big lead to eat innings for the team and he did just that. His 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings were clean, allowing just a single walk before it sort of unraveled in the 6th. I say sort of because Josh Harrison homered to left as the first batter of the inning to make the score 10-5, but he settled down to escape the inning. He came out for the 7th, which Torey Lovullo is want to do with his starters, but both Jordy Mercer and Trea Turner singled to knock him out of the game. With the big lead, a grounder moved the runner over and a sac fly scored Mercer to finish the Nats scoring for the night as the bullpen did its job.

Source: FanGraphs

With 11 runs scored on the night, the offense carried the WPA load on the night as every starter, minus Cabrera, was positive on the night. Five different players scored +.165 WPA or higher with Eduardo Escobar leading the charge at .170 +WPA.

Decent showing for a late-afternoon game, with 270 comments and 27 users enjoying the victory! Comment of the Thread to Jim for the Patrick Corbin eulogy.

The second game of the 4-game set starts tomorrow, same time, same place (4:05 AZ time). Join the conversation!