Patrick Corbin may have entered play with a league-worst 6.60 ERA on the season. But that wasn’t the case in this one as the left-hander pitched eight impressive innings against the Pirates in Washington’s 3-1 win over the Bucs.
The left hander only allowed one run on five hits, and picked up a season-high 12 strikeouts. The 12 punch outs are the most he’s had in a game since 6/22/18, which also came against the Pirates.
It was by far Corbin’s best outing of the season, and the Pirates had virtually no answer against him. Outside of Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds, who were on base a combined five times, the rest of Pittsburgh’s lineup went a combined 2 for 23 against Corbin.
At the plate, it was Yadiel Hernandez who lifted the Nats to a win. With the game tied 1-1, Hernandez pinch hit for Alcides Escobar in the bottom of the eighth, and delivered with a two-run double off of Wil Crowe.
Nelson Cruz put the Nationals ahead in the first inning after he plated Juan Soto on a groundball to third base.
Jose Quintana settled in nicely after the first inning, and that run was the only one he allowed in his six innings of work. He allowed four hits, walked a pair and sat down six on strikes. 62 of his 97 pitches went for strikes.
It was another strong outing from the veteran left-hander, who has been the anchor of the Bucs rotation all season long. Quintana’s season ERA now sits at a very respectable 3.43.
It took until the sixth inning until the Pirates could put up a run against Corbin. Diego Castillo hit an opposite-field solo shot to tie the game 1-1. For Castillo, that’s his fifth homer in his last eight games and his sixth long ball in his last 13 contests.
D.C. stands for Diego Castillo!!! pic.twitter.com/tWCxcRKzzJ
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 29, 2022
The Bucs had a pair of runners on with two away in the ninth, but Hoy Park was called out on strikes.
The Pirates will look to salvage the series and snap their five-game skid on Wednesday afternoon. Mitch Keller (2-5, 4.77 ERA) will look to keep rolling with Paolo Espino (0-1, 2.21 ERA) as his mound opponent.
- Close, But No Cigar: Entering play, the Pirates lost their last four games by a combined five runs. In the three-game series against the Rays, Tampa Bay outscored the Bucs 14-10, and the Pirates dropped a 3-2 contest to the Nationals in the first game of this series on Monday night. The Pirates had an opportunity to pull out wins in all four of those games, but came up empty. Pittsburgh again was on the losing end of a close game, a game in which they still had a chance to pull out a victory in the late innings.
- Can’t Hit With RISP: In Monday’s loss, the Pirates went hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position. The struggled carried over into Tuesday’s game as the Pirates went 0 for 7 with six strikeouts with RISP. Notably, it was the Pirates 3-4-5 hitters of Oneil Cruz, Michael Chavis and Josh VanMeter who were responsible for six of those failed chances to push across a run. It goes without saying that the Pirates will need to capitalize on scoring opportunities with RISP moving forward, especially from the middle of their lineup.
- Looked Like A Natural: Castillo is a natural infielder and has only played the outfield sparingly in his career, but it certainly didn’t look that way in this one as he manned right field for the Bucs. In addition to his eighth homer of the season, which ranks third among National League rookies, he made a couple of nice sliding grabs to rob the Nationals of a pair of base hits. Castillo has brought a nice energy to the club this season.