The Giants did their best last night and the Nationals’ truly terrible bullpen helped out a lot. They’ll try to win their second series of the season today against a much better starting pitcher in Patrick Corbin.
He’s already struck out 24 in 19 innings pitched this season and walked only 4. The standout number on his line, though, are the 4 home runs he’s allowed already. Three of them came in his second start of the year versus the Mets, with right-handers J.D. Davis and Peter Alonso taking him deep along with left-hander Michael Conforto.
His last start of the year against the Giants was August of last year. It was also his only career loss to the Giants. 9 strikeouts in 7 innings, but a 2-0 loss thanks to 8 shutout innings by Chris Stratton and a 2-run home run off of Steven Duggar.
Meanwhile, Drew Pomeranz’s average fastball velocity of 91.6 mph is a significant increase over last year, when he averaged 89 in an injury-shortened campaign, and in line with his 2017 season (91.4 mph), meaning that, right now, he’s a lot closer to resembling that version of himself — the one the Giants were hoping for when they signed him to his convoluted deal this offseason — which is very encouraging.
On the other hand, he’s allowed three home runs in 14 innings already, and he’ll be going up against a team that’s capable of cranking one out on any given swing:
Is it "rubber match" or "rubber game?"— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 18, 2019
Anyway, Patrick Corbin takes the mound for our rubber match.#StPatricksDay // #OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/pvHMv02nd6
Oof. There’s a lot going on here with this tweet. Not sure calling Corbin starts “St. Patrick’s Day” really works, but then again, if there’s one thing the Nationals are really good at, it’s being really bad at social media. I-I’m sorry, extremely petty. If you don’t remember, here’s how they handled the first matchup against Bryce Harper this season:
thank u, next— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 2, 2019
Yo homes, smell ya later. pic.twitter.com/3Jf1aR8mJq— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 3, 2019
That’s some A’s social media-level pettiness and ordinarily I’d be open to this back and forth. It works with the A’s because that team has a storied history. The Nationals? Well, they replaced Dusty Baker after a 97-win season.
Anyway, here’s the Giants’ lineup against Patrick Corbin.
RF — Steven Duggar
1B — Tyler Austin
CF — Kevin Pillar
LF — Brandon Belt
3B — Evan Longoria
SS — Brandon Crawford
2B — Yangervis Solarte
C — Erik Kratz
SP — Drew Pomeranz
There Bruce Bochy goes again. In total defiance of Brady’s well-considered article yesterday, Kevin Pillar has been given center stage. Good morning, Baseball!