For Patrick Corbin, left-hander for the Arizona Diamondbacks, his season continues to spiral downward
LOS ANGELES – From a spring of accomplishment and promise to a season of disaster, that’s pretty much the lot of Patrick Corbin, lefthanded pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks. That unfortunate set of circumstances continues to follow him. and like an unwanted burden, lingers.
Corbin came out of the gate at the end of March with renewed confidence and a spring of almost unhittable stuff. Pronounced recovered from Tommy John surgery and a 16-month period of grueling rehabilitation, Corbin appeared ready to challenge Shelby Miller as the Diamondbacks’ number two starter behind Zack Greinke, their ace.
As encouraging as his recovery and the spring, that’s the antithesis of Corbin’s campaign. With four months of the season in the books, the native of Clay, N. Y. has yet to win a home game, and Sunday afternoon in Dodger Stadium, let a three-run lead slip through his hands without a remedy.
The dichotomy of a forgetful, 14-3 loss Sunday afternoon to the Los Angeles Dodgers before 42,380 in Dodger Stadium was evident. While Corbin’s numbers are clearly down and his expectations tempered, the defense behind him is less than stellar. Though Corbin, now 5-10 and a 5.30 ERA, gave up six runs, only three were earned, and he left this one trailing 4-3. If not for a costly error from Jake Lamb, Corbin would likely continue with a lead.
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With the Diamondbacks holding a 3-0 advantage in the third, Yasmani Grandal opened the Dodgers’ frame with a single. Yasiel Puig then slapped a grounder to third and ball traveled to Lamb with “double play” written between the red stitches. Instead, Lamb does not come up clean, Puig reaches base and the error becomes the catalyst for a three-run, Los Angeles inning to tie the game.
“The ball was tough to see coming off the bat,” Lamb said afterward. “In that case, I have to come up with it, and make the play. In his last few starts, Patrick has pitched really well, and we have not made plays behind him.”
Then, homers from Corey Seagar, Joc Pederson and Grandal puts this one considerably out of reach. The 14 runs scored by the Dodgers tied for the most runs yielded by the Diamondbacks in any game this season, and the 17, L. A. hits represents three less than the 20 Arizona pitching surrendered to the Pirates at home April 24 in an extra-inning game.
Over his 22 starts this season, Corbin has given up 16 unearned runs, and that is tied for the most in the majors with Steven Wright of Boston. Acknowledging strength from the start of the game, Corbin said he settled into a groove and if not for those three, unearned runs in the third, could have lasted further than his 5.1 innings. That’s according to manager Chip Hale, who acknowledged Corbin “threw the ball very well.”
“Patrick pitched well enough to go deep in this game,” Hale said. “The defense did not play well, and that’s where they need to get it done.”
By Corbin’s admission, the game turned out to be a microcosm of the season in general. The Arizona Diamondbacks broke out to a 3-0 advantage and this game began with the hope of optimism generated by this team in spring training. Then, the Lamb error turned to be the key play in this game, and Grandal followed with a three-run bomb, Seager with another three-run homer and Pederson delivered with a pinch-hit, two-run home run.
“I felt fine and really attacked the zone,” Corbin said. “I was pitching inside. That’s where I wanted to go and locate pitches. The errors are part of the game, but it’s also my job to get out of innings and minimize the damage.”
In this one, the Arizona Diamondbacks managed only three hits and all centered around scoring two in the fourth inning. Singles from Lamb, Yasmany Tomas and Chris Owings pushed two across and staked Corbin to that early, three-run lead.
Update on the ace
Right-hander Zack Greinke is getting closer to his return into the Diamondbacks’ rotation.
Slated to pitch for Triple-A Reno this Thursday night at Salt Lake City, that could set up Greinke to regain his spot in the rotation on August 9 in New York against the Mets.
If that happens, then the organization must make a roster move. That means either Zack Godley or Braden Shipley could be dropped from the current rotation. Both pitched very well in their last outings against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, and a decision relative to their futures as starters at the major league level will be determined shortly.
After a 3-7 road trip, the Diamondbacks are back in Chase Field for a six-game home stand.
First in are the Washington Nationals, who lead the National League East by four games over the Miami Marlins.
On Monday night, righty Archie Bradley (4-6, 4.17) gets the start, and draws Stephen Strasburg (14-1, 2.68) as his mound opponent. On Tuesday night, it’s lefty Robbie Ray (5-10, 4.70) taking on righty Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.96). For the finale Wednesday afternoon at 12:40 p.m. look for Zack Godley (3-1, 5.63) to oppose former Diamondback Max Scherzer (11-6, 2.85).
Then, the Milwaukee Brewers come in this weekend for three, and that completes this home stand.