It wouldn’t really be accurate to say he was an underdog, but Patrick Corbin definitely didn’t receive the same fanfare and recognition that was lavished upon other Diamondbacks pitching prospects — names like Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley.
Even after dynamic spring training, most were calling for Bauer, not Corbin, when the struggling Josh Collmenter lost his spot in the Diamondbacks’ rotation.
Meanwhile, Wade Miley — another young, not-so-touted Diamondbacks lefty — was excelling in the long relief role, garnering consideration for inclusion in the starting rotation after sneaking into the last spot on the 25-man roster.
Miley, you’ll remember, got his chance on April 23, just 17 games into the season, when Daniel Hudson was put on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness. He held the Phillies to two hits and no runs over six strong innings, in which he struck out seven and walked just one.
Miley never hit the brakes, recording just one loss in the first two months of the season.
And Corbin got his call-up on April 30, taking over Collmenter’s spot in the rotation. After beating the Marlins, Corbin would get four more starts with the big club before being sent back down to Reno. He’d get another stint at the big league level, filling the long relief role for five games between June 28 and July 13.
Now, Corbin’s back and he plans on being here for good. The young southpaw’s third call-up of the season came on August 1. He’s made four starts since then and hasn’t lost one of them, going 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA and 24 strikeouts.
This isn’t the way Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson drew things out, but this is what’s working. Corbin is the hottest starter on the team — undefeated in the month of August. And Miley is the most consistent — leading all starters in wins (13) and earned run average (2.96).
Neither young lefty was even supposed to crack the starting rotation, which originally consisted of Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Josh Collmenter, Trevor Cahill and Joe Saunders.
Monday, August 20 at 6:40 MDT — LHP Joe Saunders (6-9; 3.70) vs. LHP Mark Buehrle (10-11; 3.74)
Saunders is the younger, more powerful version of Buehrle. And Buehrle is the older, more crafty version of Saunders. Both pitchers are having similar years, ebbing and flowing, streaking and slumping with the season. Saunders is 1-2 with a 4.19 ERA in his last three starts, which came on the heels of a really solid July. Buehrle, meanwhile, is 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA in his last three starts.
Tuesday, August 21 at 6:40 MDT — RHP Trevor Cahill (9-10; 3.74) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (9-12; 4.94)
Cahill held the Cardinals to one run in six innings pitched in his last outing, which ultimately resulted in a come-from-behind victory for the Diamondbacks. Cahill is 0-1 with a 3.74 ERA in his last three starts and he has given up 12 home runs in his last 11 starts. Nolasco is 1-2 with a 5.21 ERA in his last three starts and pitched a complete game loss in his last outing.
Wednesday, August 22 at 12:20 MDT (game one) — TBA vs. TBA
We’ll see four starting pitchers on Wednesday, but we don’t know who they all are or when they’ll pitch. On Monday, Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson confirmed that Wade Miley will be one of his starters on Wednesday, but he doesn’t yet know which game he’ll pitch in. For the Diamondbacks, Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs are, presumably, the two spot starters under consideration. Bauer would be on five days’ rest on Wednesday and his last outing with Triple-A Reno was a 12-strikeout, two-run complete game. On the other hand, Skaggs was scratched prior to his start on Sunday, with no corresponding injury announcement ever surfacing.
Wednesday, August 22 at 6:40 MDT (game two) — TBA vs. TBA