Major League Baseball

Nats’ Corbin tries to keep his Marlins magic intact

mlb1MARLINS (32-50) AT NATIONALS (42-41)
7:05 p.m. ET; MASN 2, FS-F, MLB.TV

The first season for Patrick Corbin with the Washington Nationals (-1.5) has been one of ups and downs.

Right now it appears he is on another upward trajectory as he is slated to start at home on Tuesday against the Miami Marlins (+1.5) in the first of a three-game series. He will be faced by right-hander Zac Gallen (0-1, 3.60), who pitched against the Nationals on Wednesday in Miami.

Corbin (7-5, 3.71), signed as a free agent for $140 million over six years after playing with the Arizona Diamondbacks (+1.5) from 2012-18. He had a rough patch as he gave up 16 earned runs in three starts between May 31 and June 11.

But in his last two starts, he has allowed one run in seven innings both times with two wins. The last one came against the Marlins on June 26 when he allowed just three hits in Miami.

“I felt good. I was able to locate my fastball, threw some strikes inside, which I think opened up a bunch, good slider throughout the course of the game, and I think we had our best changeup so far this year, got to throw it and had success with it, so just continue to build off that,” Corbin told reporters after the win.

“The last three have been pretty frustrating, so you’ve just got to continue to work,” Corbin added. “There are ups and downs throughout the course of the year, so I felt good with what we were doing, just wanted to continue doing it, and it was great to see some results out there.”

Corbin has also had to deal with a change in pitching coaches, as Paul Menhart took over for the fired Derek Lilliquist in early May. Menhart has been an instructor in the Nationals system for nearly 15 years, but this is the first time he has worked with Corbin.

“He used his fastball quite a bit today, which is kind of nice,” Washington manager Davey Martinez told reporters of Corbin after the latest win at Miami. “But he had a good fastball, location was, to me, the key. Threw the ball down, threw the ball up when he wanted to, but his location was really good.”

A lefty from New York state, Corbin is 2-0 with 0.56 ERA in his two starts this year against the Marlins. In his career he is 3-1, 3.40 in eight starts against them.

Current Miami hitters are 14-for-76 (.184) with no homers off Corbin. Starlin Castro of the Marlins is 0-for-11 in his career against Corbin.

Gallen gave up three runs in five innings when the Marlins lost at home to the Nationals on Wednesday.

That outing marked his second big league start.

The Marlins lost 13-6 at home Sunday to the Philadelphia Phillies. Miami gave up 17 hits — 11 by the bullpen.

But the Marlins were 13-14 in June after going 11-15 in May and 6-19 in April.

“If the guys in here don’t understand how talented we really are, it’s very obvious to me as a veteran player,” veteran infielder Neil Walker told MLB.com. “You learn as time goes along, especially as young players, how to soften the big innings, and how to push the envelope when you need to. That happens naturally.”

–Field Level Media

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