Arizona Diamondbacks: Has Corbin turned the corner?

Patrick Corbin dropped a tough decision Friday night to the Phillies. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Patrick Corbin dropped a tough decision Friday night to the Phillies. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

Lefty Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks recorded his second straight win of the season.

For the first time in nearly two years, left-hander Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks could be on a roll.

After defeating the San Diego Padres in his previous start, Corbin went out in Citizens Bank Park Friday night and bettered the Philadelphia Phillies in a one-run game. After claiming a 5-4 victory before a sparse crowd of 18,140, that marked the first time in that two-year span Corbin picked up wins in back-to-back starts.

Throughout spring training and into his starts this season, Corbin reminds listeners that his ultimate goal is to throw strikes. A more common term used by pitchers, those on the mound like “to pound the strike zone,” and Corbin was right around the black in his latest start against the Phillies.

Going five innings, the native from Clay, N. Y. allowed five hits, two earned runs and fanned five hitters. For Corbin, the most important stat of the night was his first pitch strike. Of the 24 hitters he faced, Corbin tossed 19 first-pitch strikes and walked no hitters. Completing his start with 84 pitches, Corbin threw 58 for strikes. For the season, Corbin evened his season mark to 6-6 and now sports a 5.19 ERA.

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In previous starts this season, Corbin had difficulty getting out of the first inning. Against the Phillies, he retired the first nine hitters before Odubel Herrera’s lead-off triple in the fourth. Overall, Corbin, though productive, encountered two bumps in the road.

One was a home run to catcher Cameron Rupp with one out in the bottom of the fifth. With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Corbin allowed a two-run double to Maikel Franco and fell behind by two.

The fact his teammates picked up Corbin with a three-spot in the seventh continues to speak volumes about the Diamondbacks’ ability to come from behind. With the win Friday night, Arizona improves to 14-6 in games decided by one-run. That’s good enough for second in the National League and fourth in the majors.

With starters in general showing production, an improved Corbin can only make the rotation stronger. Though Corbin suffered a few roadblocks in his win over the Phillies, manager Torey Lovullo told he saw a positive effort.

"I think Patrick threw the ball really, really well. I know the line score may not indicate as such. He made a couple mistakes in crucial moments, but they were identifiable mistakes."

On the scoreboard, the win for the Diamondbacks was their fifth straight in Citizens Bank Park, a club record. Arizona swept the Phillies in a four-game set last season in Philly.

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Elsewhere …

Center fielder A. J. Pollock, out since mid-May with a groin pull, will report to Triple-A Reno on Saturday for a rehab assignment. Pollock is scheduled to play five innings and then take Sunday off. He will be evaluated at that time. The expectation is for Pollock to rejoin the Diamondbacks in time for a series at home against the Phillies next weekend.