Sitting at 27-35 with the Pittsburgh Pirates coming into town, the Nationals were in drastic need of a series win. Washington struck first, taking game one on Monday night 3-2, thanks to a Kyle Schwarber solo shot in the seventh. Game two saw the Nationals win in convincing fashion 8-1. This time around, Patrick Corbin and the hot bats of Trea Turner, Yan Gomes, and Jordy Mercer were the catalysts.
Corbin and the offense were finally able to follow the script.
Corbin, who has struggled all season, had his best outing of the season. The lefty went 8.1 innings, allowing only one run, while striking out seven. After escaping a jam in the second, Corbin was in cruise control. All season long, Corbin had failed to locate his fastball and slider with ease, leading to his down year. Last night this wasn’t the case, with the veteran being able to pound the strike zone on cue.
He only allowed one run, an RBI double in the seventh, but he ended the threat by striking out the next guy to end the inning. Entering the ninth inning, Corbin’s pitch count was at 99 and he was sent out to try and throw his first complete game since 2019. Unfortunately, his pitch count was against him. Martinez didn’t want him to go over 110 pitches and he was consequently pulled with two on and one out. Justin Miller came in and escaped the jam to clinch the series.
While Corbin was dealing on the mound, the offense finally showed up thanks to Mercer, Turner, and Gomes. Mercer got the nod at third and was able to hurt his former team from both sides of the plate. The veteran started his career with the Pirates, playing for them from 2012-2018. Offensively, the righty went 3-4, with a run scored, while flashing the leather at the hot corner.
Turner, who had been in a mini-slump was able to get going out of the gate. The speedster went 4-5, bringing his batting average up to .308. In the sixth inning, he hit his first triple of the season, which scored Robles to put the Nats up 6-0.
Undoubtedly, Gomes had the biggest swing of the night, launching a first-inning fastball 400 feet for a grand slam, to put the Nats up 5-0. The catcher finished the night 1-3, with a walk, four RBIs, and two runs scored. Gomes’ first-inning heroics allowed Corbin and company to calm down and cruise to a much-needed victory.