After signing a six-year, $140 million free-agent deal with Washington in the offseason, pitcher Patrick Corbin made his much anticipated 2019 Spring Training, and Nationals, debut on Tuesday. Following his action on the mount, Corbin reflected positively on his debut.
"For the first one out there, I was pleased with everything," Corbin told NBC Sports Washington.
The lefty was efficient against the Braves. In the first, an eight-pitch 1-2-3 inning included groundouts from the likes of Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman. Next inning, Corbin punched out Ronald Acuna Jr. and Tyler Flowers to begin the frame. In total, Corbin allowed just one hit in his two scoreless innings of work.
As is the norm in early spring training starts, Corbin's time on the mound was limited. But going against a talented group of hitters at the top of the Braves lineup, the performance offered him momentum moving forward.
"I was just happy with going out there, throwing strikes, getting ahead of guys and being able to use all my pitches," Corbin said.
Corbin also got a chance to work with Yan Gomes, another new member of the team. As the pitcher and catcher continue to get more familiar with each other, a chance to work in a live scenario was welcomed by the starter.
"It's good to throw to him and just kind of get a feel," Corbin said. "He doubled up on some curveballs there today which I thought was good. The changeup, the fastball in and out, just kind of get a feel for what I'm able to do."
While the outing was short, it did give Corbin a chance to pitch against a group of hitter he'll become very familiar with throughout the 2019 season. Spending time with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he's seen the Atlanta core hitters before. However, Monday is now just the first of many times the two sides will matchup in the coming months. Saving the idea of hiding his stuff from them until later in spring training, Corbin was more than okay with facing them right out of the gate.
"I think every time you go out there, those are the guys you're going to face during the year. It was good to come here and face, kind of their lineup they'll probably have versus me during the season."
When the regular season comes around, Corbin and the Nats will hope that similar outings against the Braves become a staple in his inaugural season in D.C.
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