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Preview, #112: 8/4 vs. Nationals

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The return of Patrick Corbin to face the Diamondbacks

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

NATIONALS DIAMONDBACKS
Trea Turner - SS Tim Locastro - LF
Adam Eaton - RF Ketel Marte - CF
Anthony Rendon - 3B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Juan Soto - LF Christian Walker - 1B
Matt Adams - 1B Adam Jones - RF
Brian Dozier - 2B Wilmer Flores - 2B
Gerardo Parra - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Yan Gomes - C Carson Kelly - C
Patrick Corbin - LHP Taylor Clarke - RHP

Patrick Corbin returns to Chase Field this afternoon, facing his old team for the first time since signing a lucrative free-agent contract with the Washington Nationals this winter. He’s still one of Arizona’s most successful pitchers: his 56 wins ranks fourth on the franchise all-time list; no prizes for guessing who are the three men ahead of him. [The bullpen meltdown on Wednesday robbed Zack Greinke of getting to match Corbin, Zack instead departing from us with 55 W’s in his time here] He’s also third in innings pitched for the Diamondbacks and fourth in strikeouts. Less amusingly, he’s third in losses, and second - behind just Brandon Webb - in wild pitches.

Will this deep familiarity with Corbin help the Diamondbacks this afternoon? Hard to say. His season so far has been split into three starkly different section:

  • Starts #1-5: 2-0, 2.48 ERA
  • Starts #6-14: 3-5, 5.13 ERA
  • Starts #15-22: 4-0, 1.76 ERA

Whatever the problem was in the middle stretch, Corbin seems to have rectified it. He has been particularly brutal on fellow left-handers, holding them to a .198 average, and they have managed only three extra-base hits off Corbin all year. However, he does seem to have problems pitching away from Washington: Patrick’s road ERA this year is north of five. compared to just 1.78 in Nationals Park, so maybe that can carry over to his old stomping ground today?

Certainly, if the D-backs’ offense hits anything like as well as they did last night, we should be fine. That one came wiped out close to 20% of the home/road splits on OPS. They came into the game hitting 80 OPS points worse: four hours later, the gap had been reduced to 65 points. It’ll certainly help if Taylor Clarke can show that his last couple of outings (two earned runs allowed over 11.1 innings of work) are a better indication of his true ability than the ten which preceded them (6.96 ERA). But this is a tough Washington line-up. Odds are likely against Arizona here. But if ever we needed a reminder that absolutely anything can happen in baseball, we got one last night!