It is mid-July, a time of year when it not uncommon for pitchers’ velocities to sag over the weight of a long season, a time when some might complain of dead arms sapping the life out of their fastballs. But there was Diamondbacks left-hander Pat Corbin at Chase Field on Friday night pumping 95 mph fastballs in the first inning — and then touching 95 again on the 112th of his career-high 113 pitches in a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Corbin, whose next stop is Citi Field for next week’s All-Star Game, has shown no signs of slowing down in what so far has been a transcendent rookie season. And the Diamondbacks hardly want to imagine what their existence might consist of should Corbin cease to be dominant. Friday night’s start was his 19th of the season. In them, the Diamondbacks have gone 17-2. For as impressive as that stat is, the flip side is just as alarming: The Diamondbacks are 32-42 when Corbin doesn’t pitch. “I just wanted to come in and be consistent and try to get better start-by-start,” Corbin said. “It’s something I think I’ve done and I’ve learned a lot and I want to continue it on in the next half.” Corbin tired a career-high with 10 strikeouts on Friday night, giving up just one run in 6 2/3 innings. As has come to be expected, the Diamondbacks bullpen made things interesting. It also helped keep Corbin’s night from becoming a disaster. After Corbin walked Jean Segura to load the bases with two out in the seventh, manager Kirk Gibson emerged from the dugout and waved toward his beleaguered bullpen, a unit that has a major-league-leading 19 blown saves. Out came Will Harris, a right-hander whom the Diamondbacks acquired off the waiver wire in April and who has been among their more reliable relief arms. Facing Carlos Gomez, the Brewers’ best hitter — well, their best among those in attendance, given that Ryan Braun is off on bereavement and Aramis Ramirez is on the disabled list — Harris jumped ahead with two quick strikes. Gomez worked the count full. Harris came back with a fastball — Gomez fouled it off — and then another, this one at 93 mph and past the swinging Gomez to end the threat. There was even more drama in the eighth, but with the bases loaded and reliever Heath Bell on the mound, center fielder A.J. Pollock made his second incredible catch this week, diving in to rob Martin Maldonado of what could have been a two-run bloop single. “I didn’t have too much time to think anything,” said Pollock, who also made a diving catch on Wednesday night against the Dodgers. “It was kind of a couple of steps and then obviously I’m diving there. I’m just glad I got a decent jump, a good enough one that I could lay out and get the glove on the ball.” David Hernandez worked the ninth — ostensibly because right-hander Brad Ziegler had worked three consecutive days — and retired the side with no issues, firing 96 mph fastballs past Segura and Gomez to end the game.
Pat Corbin struck out 10 batters as the Diamondbacks defeated the Brewers 2-1
Arizona Republic | Jul 13