WASHINGTON -- Patrick Corbin walked off a rain-soaked field with two outs in the fifth inning against the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park to conclude his 10th Major League season.
The southpaw finished the year 6-19 with a 6.31 ERA after a rain-shortened 8-1, six-inning defeat to Philadelphia. Corbin avoided the undesired 20-loss mark, but he became the first National League pitcher to record 19 losses since the Padres’ Bobby Jones in 2001.
In his final outing of 2022, Corbin allowed 10 hits, seven runs and three walks with three strikeouts and one hit batter across 4 2/3 innings. He delivered 63 of his 101 pitches for strikes. This, after skipping his last turn in the rotation because of back spasms.
“It’s hard to assess; it was miserable out there,” said manager Dave Martinez. “I’m not going to lie, it was tough. He threw the ball fairly well early and then got hit a little bit. Then all of a sudden, the field got really wet, kind of sloppy. So just one of those days.”
Coming off his third consecutive losing season, Corbin, 33, is eyeing a turnaround in 2023 and beyond, with two years remaining on his six-year, $140 million contract. Corbin and Martinez assessed Corbin’s 2022 performance and looked ahead to next season.
Pros of the 2022 season
Corbin: “As a starter, always trying to go out there every fifth day is something that I’ve always wanted to do [he made 31 starts]. I don’t think the numbers obviously were great as a team. Obviously, we want to improve on a lot of things. But I finished the season healthy. I know my stuff’s still there. So [I’m] just looking forward to maybe tweaking a couple things for next year.”
Martinez: “The last five or six starts, he threw the ball well for us [1-1, 3.10 ERA in four September starts]. I’m proud of him working all year long to get back to where we felt like he could compete and give us a chance to win the games, and he did that. I’m going to look past this day and know that his back felt good, which is a good sign, and we’ll move on from there.”
Areas of improvement from the 2022 season
Corbin: “Being more consistent. … Just try to be more competitive, throw quality pitches, maybe trying to finish guys when I get ahead of them with two strikes and keeping the ball in the ballpark [27 home runs, tied for fourth in the NL]. Just a combination of a lot. I think overall, it was a tough season, but [I’m] trying to learn from it and move on.”
Martinez: “He struggled in the beginning, as we all know. Then all of a sudden, the last five, six, seven starts, he started understanding what he needs to do, how he needs to pitch. … I thought [pitching coach Jim] Hickey did a great job of getting him to understand that he needs another pitch. He started throwing the changeup a lot more. I thought his slider today, a few of them were really, really, really good, really sharp. He understands now that he needs to keep the ball down to be effective.”
Goals for the 2023 season
Corbin: “Just try to get back to who I know I can be: getting ahead of guys, pitching deep into games, and that’s pretty much it. Like I said, I feel my stuff is still there. Overall, just a strange season. Just trying to look to build off that.”
Martinez: “I’ve got a good feeling that next spring, we’ll get him, he comes in, he’s in shape, he gets ready, that we’ll see a different Corbin -- the Corbin that we saw in ‘19.”