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Arizona Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin: I’m fresh, ready to go

Arizona Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – Finally, in his sixth big-league season, Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin will make his postseason debut.

Unless, of course, he won’t.

For Corbin to experience playoff baseball, he’s going to need some help. He’s going to need his teammates to do something they have not been able to do thus far in the National League Division Series, and that’s beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The D-backs trail the best-of-five series 2-0, meaning a loss Monday at Chase Field and the season is over.

In other words, Corbin’s Game 4 start is anything but guaranteed.

“We need (to win) three in a row, so whatever it takes to get through these games and it starts with tonight. Tonight is the most important one,” he said, prior to Game 3.

Should Corbin take the mound on Tuesday, he’ll be doing so on 10 days rest. Corbin last pitched Sept. 29, when he went 2.2 innings in relief against the Kansas City Royals.

“I’ve been in the bullpen a couple of times, just in case,” he said, referring to the Wild Card game and division series, “so it’s a little difficult trying to find when to throw, when not to throw but I’ve been able to throw a couple of times (in the bullpen); got to throw the last day in L.A., so I’m fresh, ready to go and excited to get the ball.”

Being a spectator in the playoffs did have one advantage, according to Corbin. By watching his teammates, especially last Wednesday’s Wild Card game, he was able to get a feel for what October baseball is all about.

Then again, there is a big difference between playing and watching. And, remember, Corbin has never been in this position before.

“I haven’t pitched in the postseason, obviously,” he said, “but I’d like to say I just want to go out there, compete, stick to my strength and give our team the best chance to win.”

And that begins with pitching aggressively.

In three postseason games, D-backs starters have combined to throw nine innings. Neither Zack Greinke (3.2 innings), Robbie Ray (4.1) nor Taijuan Walker (1.0) was able to complete five innings and therefore put themselves in position to win.

“All the pitchers just got to go out there and get back to what we’re good at. I think maybe we’ve shied away from that a little bit as a staff,” Corbin said. “Just get back to our strengths, attack these hitters and let the defense play behind us.”

Twice Corbin, who finished 14-13 with a 4.03 ERA, faced the Dodgers in the regular season, both times in Los Angeles. He lost both games. Corbin allowed a combined eight runs (six earned) on 16 hits with five walks in 10.2 innings.

“They’re really deep, top through bottom. Being left-handed, they have some power left-handed batters in their lineup so hopefully I can just keep them in the ballpark. They have some really good righties that hit lefties well so you just go to focus down in the zone, just try to make your pitches, minimize mistakes,” he said.

“I think we kind of pitched around some guys sometimes here and there and weren’t really aggressive. So, it’s something that, I think, I’ll try to do; just try to pitch my game, be aggressive in the zone, just try to let them put the ball in play and pitch to my strengths.

“Strike one is very important, and if we can do that, everything else plays off that.”

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