Washington Nationals: Patrick Corbin’s Invaluable Role

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Patrick Corbin #46 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Houston Astros during Game Four of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Patrick Corbin #46 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Houston Astros during Game Four of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Corbin went from elite regular-season starter to fireman reliever who helped deliver the Washington Nationals a World Series title.

Generally, when you sign a 6 year, $140M contract you can count on being one of the top options whether you are a position player or a pitcher.  Patrick Corbin settled in as the Washington Nationals luxury number 3 starter who would be a 1 or 1a in most rotations.

Davey Martinez recognized his team’s weakness in the middle innings with the bullpen and decided to deploy Corbin as his fireman.  The results were mixed at the time but ultimately, Corbin delivered when it mattered.

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In 23.1 innings of work, Corbin.  His 5 relief appearances made the difference in the postseason.  Instead of turning to a band of replacement level relievers, Corbin took his fastball-slider combo to the bullpen and executed situation after situation.

Imagine being a hitter and having to face this night after night in the middle of a game.

His overall stats haven’t been pretty given he had a meltdown against the dodgers and another mediocre start against the Astros.  Take that out and Patrick Corbin vies for the title of biggest left-handed pitcher since the Cleveland Indians broke baseball with Andrew Miller.

A championship effort requires a ton of things to go right.  Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer delivering time and time again.  The immortal Howie Kendrick and Ryan Zimmerman turning the clock back to deliver offense when needed.  Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto living up to their superstar billing.

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Everyone played a role, many words will be written about these guys, but none of it happens without Patrick Corbin in the middle.