Watching Patrick Corbin go about his business Monday night was impressive. Although the sample size is small, Corbin continues to pitch like an ace. But pitching like an ace doesn’t mean you are an ace.
There is a progression that most human beings go through while trying to compete at the highest level our species can produce.
The first-degree or growth spurt typically involves coming to the realization that you belong, that you are capable of competing against the other homo sapiens around you.
The second level of self-realization usually involves being successful against the best our species has to offer.
The third-degree of self-realization is all about dominating the best in the world in order to become one of the best in the world.
I think Patrick Corbin is between the first and second-degree of self-realization. How he deals with this metamorphosis could determine where he’ll end up and how quickly he’ll reach his destination.
Does he feel like he is entitled to the success he is experiencing or is he encouraged by the results he is getting but knows that success is fleeting? Does he believe he has arrived or does he see himself as deprived? Only Patrick knows what he thinks and how he feels when it’s just he and the pillow.
Corbin doesn’t need to answer that question now but how he answers that question now will might determine the rest of the season. Through no fault of his own, Corbin has not had a large enough sample size to say he’s going to be Clayton Kershaw but based on what we’ve seen he could be well on his way.