Grit Index: Corbin outduels Hamels, D-backs win fourth straight
The Arizona Diamondbacks were able to continue their winnings ways with a 2-1 victory over the Phillies at Chase Field on Thursday night. The D-backs were coming off a series sweep over the Dodgers and were hoping the success would translate to their home turf, and it did.
For most of the game it was a pitching duel until Arizona got on the board in the fifth with an RBI by starter Patrick Corbin, and Gerardo Parra contributed in the sixth with an RBI of his own.
In both the fifth and the sixth innings, the D-backs found a way to get to Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels. He faced seven and six Arizona batters respectively in each inning.
Hamels was pulled after six innings of work and allowed the two runs on six hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
Corbin on the other hand was relatively flawless through six but ran into some trouble in the seventh. After giving up two singles and recording just one out, manager Kirk Gibson pulled Corbin in favor of reliever Matt Reynolds. Corbin had thrown only 89 pitches through 6 1/3 innings before getting the hook.
Reynolds had an ERA of 0.00 coming into Thursday night’s game but he was unable to keep the Phillies off the board, giving up an RBI to pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen. That was Philadelphia’s lone run of the ball game, however it was charged to Corbin.
Arizona’s bullpen was able to finish the job with David Hernandez pitching a solid eighth inning, going 1-2-3 and Heath Bell pitching a flawless final frame.
With the win the D-backs have now won four straight, that matches a season high win streak. They are also 5-1 in their last six games.
The Diamondbacks bullpen found a way to get the job done despite the recent shakeup caused by closer J.J. Putz heading to the disabled list with an elbow injury. Matt Reynolds finished the seventh, David Hernandez pitched a clean eighth and Heath Bell looked right at home wrapping up the game with a scoreless ninth.
Veteran Martin Prado is struggling when at the plate with runners in scoring position. He’s 1-for-31 and batting just .032 on the season in those situations.
Arizona as a whole on Thursday night was 0-for-12 with RISP but still found a way to win.
• Starter Patrick Corbin continues to impress this season. He became the first Diamondbacks pitcher to open a season with seven straight starts of at least six innings pitched and two runs or fewer allowed. The last pitcher to do that in Major Leagues was Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010.
• Corbin is also the first D-backs pitcher to start 5-0 since Brandon Webb did it in 2008.
• Reliever Matt Reynolds has pitched a career-high 21 straight scoreless outings, over 17 2/3 innings of work, dating back to 2012. He’s also recorded 18 straight scoreless appearances to start a season, that’s the second-longest streak in D-backs history behind Joe Paterson’s 19-game stretch back in 2011.
He Said It:
“No I mean, um, obviously it’s exciting and stuff like that but I just want to keep my head level headed and just make sure that I don’t get too big on myself and I just want to continue to go out there and prove every start.” –starter Patrick Corbin when asked how it feels pitching well at Yankee Stadium and outdueling two of the best pitchers in the game in Clayton Kershaw with the Dodgers and Cole Hamels with the Phillies.
The D-backs play the Phillies in the second game of their four-game Friday night. Arizona right-hander Ian Kennedy will be opposed by right-hander Tyler Cloyd. Kennedy is 0-3 with a 5.70 ERA in his last six starts but 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four career starts against Philadelphia. His .207 opponent batting average is second-best against any opponent. First pitch on Friday is slated for 6:40 p.m. and you can catch the game on Arizona Sports 620.