The San Francisco Giants have to be glad they’re not seeing much of Patrick Corbin anymore.
The former division rival threw 25 games — 23 starts — against the Giants during his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and sported a 3.04 ERA in 145 innings, striking out 129 hitters.
On Thursday, Corbin shut down San Francisco over the course of 7 2/3 innings in the rubber game of their three-game series in D.C., sealing a 4-2 to the Washington Nationals.
Corbin, who had been with the Diamondbacks organization since 2010 and spent the entirety of his first seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the club, signed a lucrative six-year contract with the Nationals in the offseason, meaning he’d only see the Giants once or twice a year instead of the usual six or seven encounters they have.
The lefty limited the Giants (8-12) to just two hits and one run on a sunny afternoon at Nationals Park on Thursday. The Nationals got all four of their runs before finally allowing one on Erik Kratz’s eighth-inning RBI double, then turned to closer Sean Doolittle to get out of a jam in the ninth to end the game.
Just like Wednesday’s affair, in which the Giants managed to create some interest after falling into a seven-run hole, Thursday’s got hairy again for Washington (9-8), but the four early runs off Giants starter Drew Pomeranz held up to clinch the series. After Kyle Barraclough got a pinch-hit groundout from Buster Posey to end the top of the eighth, Doolittle came in for the ninth and allowed a one-out single to Tyler Austin before back-to-back two-out hits by Gerardo Parra and Evan Longoria, the latter of which scored Austin and put the tying run on base. The bearded closer, though, fanned Brandon Crawford to end the game.
Though the Giants had largely improved against lefties since acquiring Austin and Kevin Pillar, they had no such success on Thursday, with southpaws recording 26 of 27 outs for the hosts. The only exception was the one out recorded by Barraclough, a Santa Clara native who prepped at Wilcox High School. Until Kratz’s double in the eighth, San Francisco had just one hit, a fifth-inning double by Longoria.
On the other side, the Nationals had little trouble with Giants left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who yielded single runs in four of the first five frames and was relieved with two outs in the fifth. Twenty-year-old Juan Soto walked with two outs in the first and scored on a Ryan Zimmerman RBI double, and back-to-back two-out doubles by Anthony Rendon and Soto in the third doubled the lead. Wilmer Difo, Washington’s utility infielder who got the start at shortstop, added a solo homer in the fourth, again with two outs, and a bases-loaded walk to catcher Yan Gomes in the fifth signaled the end of the day for Pomeranz.
Trevor Gott did manage to get Brian Dozier to foul out to end the inning, and the Giants did manage to conserve their bullpen for the weekend set with the Pittsburgh Pirates by getting two innings out of Sam Dyson and one out of Mark Melancon, who escaped the eighth after relieving Travis Bergen with no outs and men on the corners, but considering the lack of production from the offense, Pomeranz would have needed to walk a much finer line to give the Giants a chance to win.
Home plate umpire Ryan Additon certainly didn’t do the San Francisco bats any favors, ringing up Brandon Belt twice on pitches that appeared to be low and outside. The first led to manager Bruce Bochy’s ejection, and the second led to Belt being tossed after he slammed his helmet down in frustration. Giants hitters struck out 11 times in all, including nine against Corbin. Belt was victimized twice and Pillar struck out three times, twice against Corbin and once against Doolittle.