Corbin in good form as Opening Day nears

March 21st, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- It looks like Nationals left-hander is ready for the regular season. He pitched six innings, allowed one run on five hits and struck out five batters in a 3-2 victory over the Mets on Monday night at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

After allowing an RBI single to Tommy Pham in the first inning, Corbin was in control the rest of the way in his longest outing of the spring. He pounded the strike zone and he kept the ball down. Even better, Corbin’s arm slot was right where he wanted it to be -- something pitching coach Jim Hickey emphasized during the offseason.

“We have to make sure he doesn’t get too high,” Nats manager Dave Martinez said. “His slider was good. He threw a few changeups, and they were really effective. But his two-seam [fastballs] were really effective -- both in and out.”

Corbin is hoping to put the last two years in the rearview mirror. He lost a combined 35 games with a 6.05 ERA for the Nationals. Martinez believes this year will be better.

“He has come to Spring Training a different guy,” Martinez said. “He has a lot of confidence. He knows he can do this. He has had success before. He wants to put everything in the last two years behind him and just move forward. [We want him] to focus on getting one out, at all cost. Get the ball on the ground. Don’t worry about striking guys out. And that’s what he has been doing.”

Although nothing has been announced, Corbin is on schedule to be the Opening Day starter against the Braves on March 30 at Nationals Park.

“It’s always special to get the ball that day,” Corbin said. “I try to come in here, do the best I can, do my job. Davey always had his players’ back ever since I’ve been here. That’s why it’s so fun to play for him. He trusts everybody that goes out there no matter when it is.”