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Arizona Diamondbacks: Corbin’s struggles continue

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Patrick Corbin (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
Patrick Corbin (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Opening the second half of the season with a defeat, Arizona Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin says he needs to eliminate walks, and that remains a significant reason for his depressing campaign. In 19 starts this seasons, Corbin has only four wins and an ERA above five runs per game.

A season-long dilemma continued to haunt Arizona Diamondbacks’ left-hander Patrick Corbin at home Friday night.  In displaying a common and repeated Jekyll-Hyde baseball personality, Corbin tends to breeze through several hitters at a time, and then progressively hits the skids in facing subsequent batters.

This pattern seems customary, and perhaps all too regular. Hoping to get off to winning ways after the All-Star game, Corbin was handed the task of trying to both exorcised personal demons from earlier in the season, as well as produce a rare Arizona home victory. Winning in Chase Field seems an anathema to this team. Coming into Friday’s game with the Dodgers, and Corbin making the start, the Diamondbacks were 15-32, and only the Atlanta Braves had fewer wins at home.

As his pattern, Corbin quickly fell behind in the opening inning. That’s when Justin Turner homered to dead center field, and the Dodgers added an unearned run in the third. Quickly, the Arizona Diamondbacks answered with a three-spot in their half of the third, but Corbin fell apart in the very next inning. Giving up five runs in the fourth alone, Corbin exited after four innings and yielded six earned runs. The result was a 13-7 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers before 30,639 in Chase Field on Friday night.

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“The biggest thing right now is I’m not getting the ball over the plate,” Corbin said, after lowering his season mark to 4-9 and elevating his ERA to 5.25. “That leads to walks, and I need to be more aggressive with my pitches. It’s just frustrating, and I’m getting behind too many hitters.”

More importantly, this game represented a microcosm of the season. For starters, the Diamondbacks offense remains lethal. With seven runs Friday night that should have been enough to win any game, but this was not any game. Over the course of nine innings, the Arizona Diamondbacks weak pitching staff make sure of that consequence.

After Corbin departed, the bullpen of Dominic Leone, Edwin Escobar, Silvino Bracho, Josh Collmenter and Randall Delgado did their best high wire act.

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Combined, these five relievers allowed 11 hits and six runs, and further supported the argument that the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen, at this current state of the season, remain as weak and helpless as the starting rotation.

In real numbers, the 13 runs allowed by Arizona pitching was one short of a season-high. That was 14 scored by the Cubs on April 7. Plus, the 18 Dodger hits were two short of the season-high of 20, and that was surrendered to the Pirates during a 13 inning game.

“I put myself in tough situations,” Corbin added. “Then, I can’t find a way out of the inning. The offense did their job (Friday), and it’s frustrating because the offense came through.”

The only redeeming value in this one was the bat of Paul Goldschmidt. With a 2-for-5 night, including three RBIs, Goldschmidt hammered his 16th homer of the season with one on in the seventh, and knocked in another with third inning grounder. The home run gave the All-Star first baseman 132 homers and tied Chris Young for third place on the all-time Arizona Diamondbacks list. Ahead is Steve Finley, with 153, and franchise leader Luis Gonzalez, who hit 225 bombs.

“I thought we battled until the final out,” offered manager Chip Hale. “We made some great defensive plays late, and that’s a tribute to the dedication of these guys. But, pitchers have to keep the ball down in this ball park and you can’t elevate any pitch.”

On Deck

The Dodgers series continues on Saturday at 5:10 p.m. Look for right-hander Archie Bradley (3-5, 4.64 ERA) to oppose L. A. right-hander and former Diamondback Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.70). In Sunday’s finale, it’s lefty Robbie Ray (4-8, 4.81) taking on right-hander Kenta Maeda (8-6, 2.95). Then, the Toronto Blue Jays come into Chase Field for a 2-game set, Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon.

Next: Arizona Diamondbacks: Miller Sent to Minors

Following this home stand, the Arizona Diamondbacks hit the road for a 10-game trip. This includes three in Cincinnati, four in Milwaukee, and three with the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

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