Corbin completes 'long road' back to Majors
D-backs starter, in return from Tommy John, earns 1st win since '13
PHOENIX -- When the Chase Field public address announcer read the starting lineups, the sellout crowd roared when he got to pitcher Patrick Corbin.
It had been 645 days since the left-hander had last pitched in a regular-season game and in between he had Tommy John surgery and went through a lengthy rehab. His reward for all that work came Saturday night when he picked up the win as the D-backs beat the Rockies, 7-3.
"When they announced my name before pregame and the fans gave a pretty nice applause there, that gave me some chills and some butterflies," Corbin said. "And after that seemed to calm me down. I just wanted to go out there and don't overthrow and just throw a lot of strikes and I felt like I was able to do that tonight."
Corbin allowed eight hits and a pair of runs while not walking a batter and striking out three. He threw 76 pitches, 56 for strikes.
Knowing that the D-backs were going to hold him to 90 pitches max in his first start, Corbin tried to attack hitters in hopes of going as deep in the game as he could.
It actually almost turned into a short outing when after he was staked to a 2-0 lead, he allowed a pair of runs in the third inning and threw 22 pitches. There were times during the inning that manager Chip Hale was close to getting the bullpen up because he did not want Corbin to labor too much in any single inning.
"Some of their hits just weren't at our guys, but I felt good with everything," Corbin said. "Early on the slider was a little bit up and [pitching coach Mike Harkey] just said lower my eyesight, which I did and later on the slider was back to normal and the changeup was good."
Hale said that, watching Corbin, it seemed like just a normal day for the 25-year-old. But it was anything but for Hale and Corbin's teammates, who had watched how hard he had worked to get back.
"First time back here, I'm sure a lot of butterflies, big crowd, one of the biggest of the year, and it's just a big day for him," Hale said. "He did a nice job, had the one inning I thought he struggled a little bit, but after that was great. He got the five innings in, I think that was enough for us with the one stressful inning."
When the D-backs got back into the clubhouse they considered giving Corbin a beer shower, something they do to celebrate someone's first hit or win. But ever the cool customer, Corbin reminded them that he already had 20 wins in the big leagues.
"It was a long road," Corbin said. "Everybody throughout this week was just making sure I was calm and collected out there. I thought I would be a little bit more nervous out there, maybe a little more hyped up."