What a difference a year makes.
In his last start at Coors Field on September 22, 2012, Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin lasted just three innings, while giving up five runs on nine hits.
But everything the 23-year-old seems to touch in 2013 turns to gold, and Monday night was no exception.
Back in the Mile High City, Corbin dazzled on the mound. Arizona’s de facto ace began the night retiring 11 of the first 12 batters he faced and finished it with a complete game, three-hitter.
The D-backs provided plenty of run support behind Corbin and went on to win 5-1 over the Rockies.
With the victory, Corbin is now tied with the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann for the National League lead in wins (7).
Corbin struck out a season-high 10 batters, but arguably more impressive was the efficiency in which he did it in. Of his 97 pitches, 74 were thrown for strikes.
Not to be outdone by Corbin, shortstop Didi Gregorius continued his torrid pace at the plate, driving in two runs and collecting three more hits.
Through 22 games, the D-backs shortstop is batting an eye-popping .369.
The only blemish in Corbin’s masterful performance was the eighth inning. Through the first seven frames, the D-backs starter had only allowed one hit.
However in the eighth, Corbin gave up a slicing double down the left field line to Nolan Arenado, and two batters later surrendered his lone run of the night on a base hit to left by pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco.
Martin Prado also recorded his third error of 2013 in the third inning, but the D-backs still lead the league with the fewest committed (13) this season.
He Said It:
“They were coming out swinging, and I was just locating my pitches. It was awesome to go out there and throw my first complete game. Every outing I’m going to throw strikes, but when you can get ahead like that it really helps.” — Patrick Corbin on his career night
• Corbin threw three pitches or less to 20 of the 31 batters he faced Monday.
• According to ESPN Stats & Info, only two visiting pitchers before Monday had ever thrown nine or more innings with at least 10 strikeouts at Coors Field: Pedro Martinez and Kevin Brown.
• Arizona is 9-0 in Corbin’s starts in 2013.
• In each of his nine outings to start the season, Corbin has pitched at least seven innings while giving up two runs or less — a D-backs record.
Ian Kennedy (2-3, 4.88 ERA) will look to win his second consecutive decision while securing a third straight series victory for the D-backs. He will be opposed by right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 4.07 ERA). Chacin beat Arizona back on April 19 behind 6.1 innings of shutout baseball. First pitch is set for 5:40 p.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.