D-backs unable to support Corbin's superb effort

Lefty continues stellar run, fanning nine in seven innings

August 28th, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- As the first place D-backs search for separation in the NL West, was typically brilliant. But Arizona could not capitalize on the left-hander's fifth straight quality start, dropping the series opener to the Giants, 2-0, at AT&T Park on Monday.
Corbin dazzled across seven innings, striking out nine while walking just one. Seven of Corbin's strikeouts came on his slider, a pitch that generated 13 swinging strikes and seven called strikes.
"I thought [Corbin] was outstanding," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "He told me after the sixth inning that he felt strong, that he was going to get through the seventh if he had that opportunity. And he didn't let me down. It's unfortunate we couldn't score some runs for him. If we did, we'd be talking about a totally different night for Patrick."

The loss snappped the D-backs' six-game winning streak with the left-hander on the mound. Corbin also parted ways with a streak of his own -- 74 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing a home run -- when belted the game's only offense, a two-run shot in the second inning.
"I felt great throughout," Corbin said of his outing, "just the one pitch there that [Duggar] put a good swing on. It was early. Usually our offense is going to get us back in it, so I was trying to put up as many zeros as I could."
Corbin quickly settled down after the uncharacteristic long ball, retiring 10 Giants in a row before yielding a double and a single to open the sixth inning. With no outs, he escaped the first-and-third situation unscathed by inducing three straight grounders from San Francisco's three, four and five hitters to preserve a two-run deficit.

But the D-backs could not solve Giants starter Chris Stratton like they did on Aug. 3, when they chased the right-hander after he allowed six runs on 10 hits in three innings. On Monday night, he gave up five hits, three of which were by , in eight shutout frames.
"This is the time of the year when you get some good situations," Lovullo said, "you've got to take advantage of them. We didn't tonight and so that hurts. That hurts. I don't know what happened elsewhere and I'm not really concerned, but I know that we're in a pennant race and we got to collect as many wins as possible."

By now, Lovullo has heard that the Rockies lost, meaning the D-backs remain in first place by one game. Corbin's stellar effort on Monday night might not be rare, but it was an opportunity that Arizona needs to seize as the D-backs bid for a postseason berth.
"I feel real good about who's going out there [pitching] on a given night," Lovullo said, "and if we combine things the way we're supposed to and swing bats the way that we can, you look at the full body of work, I feel good about how we're going to win games."
Jay rolled a leadoff single to center field and lined a base hit to left. It was shaping up to be a big first inning for the D-backs against Stratton, who has allowed 16 earned runs in 20 first innings this season (7.20 ERA).
Then, Stratton proceeded to retire , Major League-leading 1.246 OPS in August, , 7-for-14 lifetime against Stratton, and to keep the D-backs off the board.
"I think we came out swinging the bats very, very well," Lovullo said, "and were going to maybe jump on him before he got into a rhythm. But once we didn't, I think that gave him a little tailwind."
Corbin needed just two strikeouts to reach 200 this season, a milestone he achieved when he fanned Nick Hundley swinging to end the first inning. The left-hander joins Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Dan Haren, Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray as the sixth pitcher in D-backs history with 200 strikeouts in a season.
"I feel good about it," Corbin said of the milestone. "Just hopefully keep it going. Disappointed we didn't get the win today so looking forward to my next game against the Dodgers, that'll be big."
Nick Ahmed helped Corbin escape in the sixth inning by throwing out at the plate. Ahmed, a Rawlings' Gold Glove candidate, entered Monday's game leading all Major League shortstops with 18 defensive runs saved.

"First and third," Corbin said, "Nick made a couple good plays like he's done all season. We love when they hit it at him. He's been great for us."
"I looked up there tonight and saw his record. He's only got 10 wins on the year. That's our fault as an offense for not giving him enough runs, he's pitched good enough to easily have 15, 16 wins for us. So we did it again tonight, didn't score, so hopefully we turn that around these few starts." -- Ahmed, on Corbin
The D-backs will hand the ball to (7-2, 2.25 ERA) for the second game of a three-game series at AT&T Park. The right-hander was terrific in his last outing, striking out seven Angels and walking none in seven scoreless frames. Arizona has won six of his last seven starts. The Giants counter with left-hander (5-5, 2.88 ERA), with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PT.