Patrick Corbin continued his pitching dominance on Friday night, matching a career high with 10 strikeouts and allowing just one earned run to improve his record to 11 – 1 in a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The All-Star pitched 6 2-3 innings and, despite throwing three wild pitches, was able to earn consecutive wins for the first time since he won seven in a row from April 28 to June 2.
The D-Backs, however, were not the only team to display quality pitching. Milwaukee starter Tom Gorzelanny (1-3) pitched 6 solid innings of baseball, letting up just one unearned run and three hits, yet simply ran into an even more dominant starter in Corbin. Yet, the Brewers threatened in the 4th inning. After a leadoff double by catcher Jonathan Lucroy, Corbin threw his third wild pitch of the night and just like that, there was a man on third with one out. Corbin, 23, instead of getting flustered like many young pitchers, stayed calm and retired the next three batters. Inning over.
After clearly running out of steam in the middle of the 7th inning, Corbin was pulled after another splendid performance, but left the bases loaded with two outs. Arizona skipper Kirk Gibson brought in Will Harris to pitch, and All-Star Carlos Gomez stepped to the plate. Harris struck out Gomez to end the inning, and once again, the Diamondbacks’ pitching stepped up.
Heath Bell, although he didn’t have his best stuff, got through the 8th inning without letting a run score and David Hernandez closed out the game to secure another D-Backs victory – their 7th in the last ten games.
Arizona’s bullpen, however, has struggled mightily to close out games. They have blown 19 saves so far this season, most in the major leagues. If they continue at this pace, they will have blown 34 saves by season’s end, matching a record-high of the Colorado Rockies 2004 team.
Despite the lack of success in the bullpen, the Diamondbacks have managed to lead the American League West by 2.5 games. With an exciting roster of young talent, the D-backs, who, by the way are 17-2 when Corbin starts games, will continue to flourish and are a legitimate postseason contender. The future is certainly bright in Arizona.