With two outs in the fifth inning on Tuesday night, Nationals starter Patrick Corbin took a line drive off of his arm and grazed his face, but shook it off, stayed in the game and came back out for the sixth, earning the praise of Washington general manager Mike Rizzo.
"He's a tough guy, you take a 100-mile-an-hour liner off the forearm and then face and then continue to grind through it, it says a lot about his intestinal fortitude," Rizzo said on Wednesday during his weekly appearance with 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies, which is presented exclusively by our partners at MainStreet Bank — Cheer Local. Bank Local. Put Our Team in Your Office.
"After the game, he felt it a little in the forearm and we'll reevaluate him today but he expects to make his next start and I don't expect him to be hurt enough not to pitch," the GM said.
After struggling in his first few starts of the season and coming off two disastrous campaigns in 2021 and 2022, the lefty has been better of late. In his previous four starts, Corbin has allowed just 11 runs (10 earned) on 25 hits in 24.1 innings pitched while walking just three and striking out 17.
"Patrick's pitched great," Rizzo told The Junkies. "I think five out of the last six starts have been quality starts and giving ourselves a chance to win. And he takes the ball every fifth day and he's got guts and toughness and kind of shows those kids [on the Nationals staff] what it takes to pitch deep into games and deep into seasons and take the ball and throw 200-ish innings a year is important for us. He takes the ball every five days and gives us the best he can and has pitched better as of late."
Rizzo also took time to praise Jake Irvin, who was the subject of last week's chat ahead of the big right-hander's MLB debut.
"He like a lot of our young pitchers they have the ingredients to become really good starting pitchers in the big leagues, they just have to get a feel for the strike zone a little bit more," Rizzo told The Junkies. "He's a very aggressive pitcher, but like a lot of the young guys need to get ahead in the count, throw strikes and not walk guys."
In his first two starts, Irvin has allowed one earned run in 10.2 innings pitched scattering six hits, but he's walked seven while striking out eight. Irvin did get his first win of his career Monday night in San Francisco.
"We're walking too many hitters, period. That's a general consensus," Rizzo said. "It's a recipe for disaster, you get behind hitters... nobody in this league is good enough to pitch 3-1 and 2-0, these hitters are too good. You gotta get ahead of hitters, be aggressive in the strike zone."
On Josiah Gray, Rizzo talked more about his offseason focus on the young pitcher working on cutting down on walks so if he gives up a homer – like former Natioals Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer would do – it isn't something that kills you if that home run doesn't come after a walk.
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