Corbin's outing provides relief for bullpen

Corbin's outing provides relief for bullpen

Corbin's outing provides relief for bullpen
PHOENIX -- The final score Tuesday night showed the D-backs falling 9-5 to the Padres, but it could've been much worse for the bullpen without the help of rookie left-hander Patrick Corbin.

After Trevor Bauer failed to last through the fourth inning, the D-backs bullpen was on the hook to pitch the final 5 2/3 innings of the game.

Corbin, however, came in and saved the club from wearing out the rest of its relievers with extended work. The 22-year-old stopped the bleeding for the D-backs by tossing 4 1/3 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits.

"You go in there knowing you're going to throw more than one inning," Corbin said. "So you try to keep the team in the game and let the other relievers get some rest."

Corbin made five starts for the team earlier this season before returning to the Minors. In his three appearances since rejoining the D-backs, he has come out of the bullpen on each occasion, throwing a combined 7 2/3 innings and surrendering just one earned run.

Even though Corbin hadn't pitched in relief since rookie ball, he likened long relieving to starting a new game.

"It's honestly like the same as a start," he said. "Maybe you don't get as much time to warm up and do your routine but you still have to pace yourself and work the same."

The success Corbin is experiencing has manager Kirk Gibson noticing significant improvement in the pitcher since he first came up to the big leagues in late April.

"He's throwing good out of the bullpen, this was something new for him, he's a good looking young player and he's only going to get better," Gibson said. "He seemed to take something out of his first stint up here as a starter."

So what exactly did Corbin work on while he was with Triple-A Reno from the end of May to the end of June?

"Just some command and being more consistent with my breaking pitches," he said. "Now I came up here already comfortable because I had already been up, that helps a lot. It's just a new start."

In addition to performing well on the mound, Corbin also collected a base hit, a walk and scored a run.

The highlight of his night, however, came in the seventh inning when he fielded a ground ball to third base off the bat of Cameron Maybin and threw out Yonder Alonso at second base.

"At first I was waiting for [third baseman Geoff] Blum to call me off but I didn't hear anything," Corbin said. "So I got the ball and I knew Maybin was running fast so I knew I had no shot at first. I looked at second and saw [Aaron] Hill there. I turned and threw it and got lucky to get him out. I don't think I've ever made a play like that, but it helped us out of the inning."

Like Corbin, Gibson had never seen a pitcher make a play like that before either.

"I was just hoping he wasn't going to throw to first but he threw it to second right on the money, pretty good play," Gibson said. "Not many people have the sense or savvy to understand where to go with that. Most people would eat the ball but he surprised the runner."