The Nationals are quite possibly the hottest team in baseball over the last 18 days. The team is 12-4 in that span, and the Nationals have not had a starting pitcher lose a game since May 19th — except for Patrick Corbin who is 1-3 in that span. Corbin has publicly said that his issues are mechanical, but you also have to consider his usage in which he set a career high in pitch count at 118 pitches on May 4th in a 6-inning no-decision to go with a 116 pitch performance on a complete game performance when his team had a 5-0 lead. Was that necessary to pitch that 9th inning with a 5-0 lead? This week the Cubs had the same decision with Cole Hamels with a 3-0 lead and a pitch count of 99 after the 8th inning, and Joe Maddon pulled him. Complete game shutouts are cool, but team goals over individual goals are cooler. Sure, maybe pitch count has nothing to do with Corbin’s issues. It is just interesting how Maddon handled his pitcher versus Martinez who was Maddon’s former bench coach.
It is Corbin who starts tonight in the season finale against the White Sox. He will not have to bat tonight with the designated-hitter in effect, and batting seemed to start his issues a few weeks back when he had two at-bats of 9-pitches each which will certainly fatigue you.
“You just kind of feel your mechanics, and you’re able to go out there and do it,” Corbin said. “I just fell behind [batters]. I wasn’t throwing strike one. I was trying to be too perfect there when I was behind instead of attacking their hitters with everything that I have. I’ll just try to learn from that.”
The Nationals will face the left-handed Manny Banuelos tonight to wrap up this two game series. Only two Nationals players have faced Banuelos before. With the day-off on Wednesday, the Nationals begin a long homestand beginning with 4-games against the Diamondbacks.
With Matt Adams’ oblique injury last night, the Nationals will most likely make a roster move. The Nationals Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies were in Oklahoma City yesterday and are headed back to Fresno. We were told that they were considering Andrew Stevenson as a call-up to add a lefty bat to the bench. We will wait and see on that.
Washington Nationals at Chicago White Sox
Stadium: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois
1st Pitch: 8:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, NBS Sports Chicago, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):