Entering the 2013 season, the odds that Patrick Corbin would be tied for the MLB lead in wins on Memorial Day would have been astronomical. On Sunday afternoon, it became a reality.
Corbin threw 6 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned), and striking out 5 in Arizona’s 6-5 victory over the Padres, and in the process, grabbed his 8th win in just 10 starts. On the surface, Corbin’s effort on Sunday wasn’t particularly impressive, but when you examine his game log, the fact that Sunday’s performance represents his worst statistical game of the season screams about his excellence from the first quarter of the year.
Corbin allowed 2 runs or fewer in his first 9 outings of the year, and in doing so, accumulated a stellar 1.44 ERA before Sunday’s start. Regression was certainly scheduled for Corbin (who has an 86% strand rate this season), but even with his 3 earned runs against San Diego, his sparkling ERA is just 1.71 through 68.1 innings, and Corbin was able to join Jordan Zimmermann and Matt Moore with 8 wins before Memorial Day.
The jury is still out as to whether this transformation from Corbin, who entered the year with a 4.54 ERA, is legitimate. His aforementioned strand rate of 86% is astronomical, and his success with preventing runs stems greatly from a wildly low 5% HR/FB rate. There will likely be some correction in Corbin’s numbers, but his peripherals (2.84 FIP) indicate that could potentially be a different (read: better) pitcher than in his rookie campaign, and the Diamondbacks may have found a front-end starter for years to come.
At the very least, it has been a magical two months for Patrick Corbin.