PHOENIX -- Patrick Corbin wasn't about to be upset or think about what could have been Tuesday night after he watched his no-hit bid end with two outs in the eighth inning.Instead, Corbin was going to celebrate the fourth complete game of his career -- a 1-0 victory over the
PHOENIX -- Patrick Corbin wasn't about to be upset or think about what could have been Tuesday night after he watched his no-hit bid end with two outs in the eighth inning.
Instead, Corbin was going to celebrate the fourth complete game of his career -- a 1-0 victory over the Giants at Chase Field -- because when you've been through what he has, you learn to savor these kind of performances.
"I feel like I'd feel the same if I had a no-hitter," Corbin said. "To come away with a win was huge."
After a breakout year in 2013, Corbin appeared to be on the verge of stardom. Named the team's Opening Day starter for 2014, he tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his final spring tuneup, and missed a year and a half.
When he came back, he was good, but not as dominant. Finally, in the second half last year, things began to click for him. This year, after finally making an Opening Day start, he appears to be once again on the verge of being considered an ace.
"It was fun," Corbin said. "Just felt locked in the whole game. [Catcher Alex Avila] did a good job there. We just mixed it up a little bit from the last outing. Just locating everything really. Just trying to keep guys off balance. I think I made up a pitch today -- just threw something at 65 mph. Never done that, so not sure where that came from."
That 65-mph pitch was a slightly slower version of the breaking ball he's thrown this year that has made him so effective. The sign for it is a curveball, even though he uses a similar grip for his harder slider, which comes in around 80 mph.
The only blemish through the first 7 2/3 innings was a fourth-inning walk to Joe Panik.
With two outs in the eighth, Corbin jumped ahead of Brandon Belt 0-1 in the count, before snapping off a nasty 80-mph slider. Belt tried to check his swing and the ball dribbled toward third base.
The D-backs were playing the left-handed-hitting Belt to pull the ball, so the closest person was shortstop Nick Ahmed. Despite his best efforts, Belt beat out the infield hit.
"I gave up a couple of harder hit balls on bad pitches and they were caught," Corbin said with a smile. "And I make a good pitch and they get a hit, so that's baseball."
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo also weighed in on the shift.
"Unfortunately we play a shift, we play an aggressive overshift and you saw what happened," he said. "It was a check swing. You can't predict those things. That's a tough way to have it happen."
While Corbin was tossing his gem, so was Giants starter Johnny Cueto, who allowed two hits through seven innings.
Finally in the bottom of the eighth, D-backs outfielder David Peralta came through with a two-out single off reliever Tony Watson to score Jarrod Dyson from second, with what proved to be the game-winning run.
"After the three strikeouts I had early in the game, I was like, 'OK, this is my opportunity to do something for the team,'" Peralta said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Walk this way: Lost amid the outstanding performance of Corbin and the game-winning hit by Peralta, was the one-out walk that Dyson drew off Watson. Dyson jumped ahead 3-0 in the count before taking a called strike. Watson missed with a 3-1 fastball and Dyson took first, was sacrificed to second by Corbin and scored on Peralta's hit.
"Just trying to have a good at-bat right there," Dyson said. "I know we needed a baserunner. As soon as he fell behind, I was going to make him throw me a strike [before swinging]. When he went 3-0, I was going to make him throw me two strikes, because then there's no pressure on me."
Taketh away and then giveth: The defensive shift proved costly in the eighth when Belt was able to get the Giants' only hit on a tapper to third, but it also took away a potential hit from Belt in the third. That's when third baseman Daniel Descalso, who was playing to the right of second base in the shift both times, was able to make a diving play on Belt's grounder and throw him out at first.
"I hit one earlier in the game and they took it away from me with a good, diving play," Belt said. "It happens sometimes. The shift takes a lot of hits away, but every now and then, it gives one back."
Tuesday was Corbin's fourth career complete game, and the third of the nine-inning variety.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Corbin's no-hitter almost disappeared in the seventh when with two outs, Buster Posey laced a drive to straightaway center. A.J. Pollock initially got turned around on the play, but recovered and made a diving play as the ball tailed away from him and towards right-center.
"Those are the funky plays when you're playing center where the ball is doing all sorts of stuff on you," Pollock said. "It was a point in the game where I definitely want to make a play for my teammate there. I was fortunate to get close enough to be able to make the play."
HE SAID IT
"Just a fantastic effort by Patrick. It started and stopped with him tonight. What can you say? It was really good stuff that stayed with him all game long. It looked like to me, that he could do anything, at any time, at any edge of the plate. Just a really fun night to watch, just a really fun night to be a baseball fan. Patrick was off the charts." -- Lovullo
Robbie Ray will get the start Wednesday night as the D-backs take on the Giants at 6:40 MST in the second of a three-game series at Chase Field. The D-backs have won all three of Ray's starts this year and they've won his last eight starts against NL West opponents. He struck out six, but allowed three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Giants last Wednesday.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.