Lefty Patrick Corbi of the Arizona Diamondbacks allowed only two base runners in recording his first career, shut-out complete game.
Before Tuesday’s night game, manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks was asked to access pitcher Patrick Corbin. Opening the current homestand against the San Francisco Giants, Corbin was out to remain undefeated on the 2018 season and struck the praise of his manager.
Without hesitation, Lovullo told Call to the Pen that Patrick Corbin’s early season success was due to efficiency. Citing his command of both sides of the plate and with the ability to change speed on his pitches, Lovullo pointed out that Corbin is “in a good place.”
After limiting the visiting San Francisco Giants to one-hit and tossing his first career shutout, complete game, Patrick Corbin is likely now in a perfect place.
Almost perfect, because if not for a check-swing roller to third by Brandon Belt on an infield in shift mode, Patrick Corbin would have been enshrined in Cooperstown. Ruled an infield single off the bat of Belt, Corbin had to settle for a one-hitter and his effort carried the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 1-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants before 19,669 in Chase Field.
If proficiency and command are his trademarks, Patrick Corbin’s effort against the San Francisco Giants reflect that composition. Retiring the first 10 Giants in order, the initial hitter to reach base was Joe Panik, who walked with one out in the fourth. Through the first three innings alone, Patrick Corbin needed only 28 pitches to retire the San Francisco Giants in order and just six in the third inning. For the game, he tossed an even 100 pitches and 68 for strikes.
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Focused from the start, Patrick Corbin sailed through five of the nine innings under 12 pitches in any one frame. The most he had to delivery was in the eighth when Patrick Corbin threw 14 pitches and that was inning in which Bell edged out his single.
Overall, Patrick Corbin allowed only two base runners and that was the walk to Panik and Belt’s bleeder.
Though disappointed he lost the no-hitter late in this one, Patrick Corbin told Call to the Pen afterward that he was happy just being consistent.
"“I was locating everything,” he said. “I’m trying to keep guys off balance and I was locating my two-seamer pretty well. I wanted to just repeat my delivery and I was in a rhythm all game long.”"
Pundits could be guilty and accuse Patrick Corbin of being “locked in,” and pitching within a certain psychological zone. His catcher Alex Avila cautioned against that characterization and told Call to the Pen that is simply an easy judgment to make.
"“I’ve seen guys locked in early in a game and then get hammered,” he said. “(Corbin) has pitched this well all season. Everything was working and that made things easy for me. He was locating on both sides of the plate and when he does that, he gets into a rhythm.”"
If Patrick Corbin flirted with a no-hitter, he was instrumental to help push across the only run of the game. With one out in the eighth, Jarrod Dyson, hitting eighth, walked and Patrick Corbin moved him to second with a bunt which he dropped right in front of the plate. David Peralta, who struck out his three previous times against San Francisco Giants’ starter Johnny Cueto, drove a Tony Watson fastball into center field and Dyson scored the game-winner.
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The game was Patrick Corbin’s fourth career complete game. The time of the game, two hours, five minutes, was the sixth shortest game in Chase Field history.
The shortest contest was on May 31, 2008, and that lasted 1:52 in a game against Washington. The shortest game in team history is 1:47, at Pittsburgh on Aug. 25, 2004.
Patrick 7.2 hitless innings was the seventh time an Arizona pitcher opened the game with seven or more hitless innings. In their history, two have thrown no-hitters. Randy Johnson tossed a perfect game in Atlanta on May 18, 2004, and Edwin Jackson threw a no-hitter against the Rays on June 25, 2010.
The 1-0 score was the 21st 1-0 outcome in team history and the first since June 12, 2015, at San Francisco. Winning 12 of their opening 16 games, the 12-4 start to the season matches the best 16-game beginning in franchise history. That was established in 2008 and equaled in 2008.
The San Francisco Giants series continues with games Wednesday and Thursday nights. In the middle game of the set, lefty Robbie Ray (2-0, 5.74 ERA) takes on right-hander Chris Stratton (1-2, 2.60). The series concludes Thursday, and that’s when Zack Greinke (1-2. 5.29 ERA) faces lefty Ty Blach (1-2, 4.43). Then, the San Diego Padres roll into the desert for a three-game, weekend set.