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Corbin's finale not a prime example of stellar '13

Despite rough stretch, lefty finishes season as All-Star with 3.41 ERA

By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com

viernes 27 de septiembre de 2013 11:15 PM MST

PHOENIX -- Looking at Patrick Corbin's 2013 campaign from a big-picture perspective, what the 24-year-old accomplished in his first full Major League season was nothing short of extraordinary. The southpaw won 14 games, earned an All-Star Game selection, tossed more than 200 innings, struck out 178 batters and finished with a sub-3.50 ERA.

Not too shabby for a guy who won his spot in the rotation in Spring Training.

On the mound for the final time this year, Corbin showed glimpses of his early-season form out of the gate, but labored in the back end of his outing, surrendering five runs over five innings as Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals took down the D-backs, 8-4, at Chase Field on Friday night.

Considering just how dominant Corbin was in his first 25 starts of the year through Aug. 20 -- compiling a 13-3 record coupled with a 2.45 ERA -- his results over his final seven outings wrote a subpar ending to an otherwise fabulous season story.

"He had an outstanding season," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Corbin. "We had hoped the outcome would've been better for his last start, but it wasn't. He had his head down, but I told him to keep it up, because he had a great year for us."

He certainly did. All that was missing was a better finale.

Over Corbin's final seven starts dating back to Aug. 25, the left-hander went 1-5 with an 8.00 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP, which ballooned that high due to 67 walks and 55 hits over just 36 innings pitched.

"This last month has been difficult for me, and it's something I want to get over," Corbin said. "But at the end of the season when I get home, I'll look back and try to get better to make sure this doesn't happen next year. I have to stay strong through the course of the year. That's something I want to improve on."

Asked whether fatigue played a role in his downward slide as the season wore on, Corbin said, "I feel fine. I wish I could go out and pitch again to end on a good note."

Although Corbin won't get that chance, the D-backs hope the experience of pushing through a rough stretch will pay off down the road in his promising career.

"Time will tell, but he's a very determined young man, and he doesn't like to fail," Gibson said. "He didn't run from it, and he didn't want to get shut down, even when it was obvious he didn't have the same stuff."

The D-backs scored twice in the third off Strasburg, one on a Gerardo Parra single and the other when Paul Goldschmidt hit into a double play to go ahead, 2-0.

That lead proved to be short-lived.

After Bryce Harper cut his club's deficit in half with an RBI double in the fourth, Anthony Rendon evened the score in the fifth with an RBI double of his own.

Early cushion erased, Corbin had a chance to escape the fifth without any more damage, but with two outs and two men on, the lefty elevated a 92-mph fastball to Jayson Werth, who deposited the offering deep into the left-field stands for a three-run homer, his 25th of the year.

"Just a bad pitch, left it right down the middle," Corbin said. "If I throw a better pitch there, maybe I go out for another inning and try to finish with a good outing. That's baseball, though. It can turn that quick."

Corbin retired the next batter to finally end the inning, but that would be his last out of his season, as the D-backs pinch-hit for him in the bottom half of the frame.

"He laid it all out there, and I think we can all say he gave us everything he had this year," Gibson said. "He should be proud of his performance. I know I am."

Three innings later, the Nationals tacked on insurance runs when Wilson Ramos took Chaz Roe deep for a three-run homer. The D-backs then pushed across a pair of runs in the ninth, but it wasn't enough, as the club fell back to .500 on the season at 80-80. Arizona will need to win both of its remaining contests to secure a winning record.

"It has been frustrating not being able to get in a rhythm," D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock said. "We feel we're a playoff team. We have some guys on this team that are great ballplayers. But we have two games left, and we want to finish strong. You want to run into the offseason with some momentum to build off of."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.