|4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, June 22, 2018
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Attendance: 24,843
Diamondbacks could use strong outing from Corbin vs. Pirates
Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates
- The Diamondbacks scored a season-high 13 runs against the Pirates in the second game of the last series these teams played. They have won each of their last two series against the NL Central (vs. Cin, vs. Pit), with their bullpen posting a 1.17 ERA in those six games.
- The Pirates (36-37) are the only team in MLB below .500 with a positive run differential (+2). They are coming off a two-game series split with the Brewers, including a 1-0 victory in the first game. That was the ninth game Pirates pitching shutout their opponent, the second-highest mark in MLB (Cubs, 10).
- Zack Godley has allowed opponents to hit for a .265 batting average in 2018, the worst mark by any National Leaguer with at least seven wins. In his last two starts, he is 2-0 and has allowed four runs while striking out 16 in 12.1 innings.
- Chad Kuhl has posted quality starts in four of his last five outings with a 2.45 ERA; still, he has gone 1-2 in those games, garnering just 2.76 runs of support on average. In his one career start against the Diamondbacks in 2017, Kuhl threw 5.0 innings while allowing two runs and holding the D'backs to a .176 batting average in that game.
- In June, Paul Goldschmidt leads MLB with 30 hits and nine home runs and ties for the lead with 20 runs scored. His .423 batting average and .512 on-base percentage this month both rank second in MLB behind Mike Trout.
- Jordy Mercer has at least a hit in 11 of 14 games in June, including a current three-game streak; he is hitting .303 (14-for-46) this month with six doubles, giving him 17 two-baggers in 2018.
- Astros acquire INF Diaz from Blue Jays
- Jansen to undergo heart surgery Nov. 26
- Red Sox re-sign World Series MVP Pearce
- O's name Astros' Elias executive VP, GM
- Phillies promote Young to pitching coach
At a time when the Arizona Diamondbacks' rotation is in flux, left-hander Patrick Corbin could do well to give them a good start Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Arizona expects several injured starters to return soon, and roster decisions are coming. Corbin's spot would not seem to be in jeopardy, but he is coming off some inconsistent performances.
In early May, he was 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA. He goes into Friday's start with a 6-3 record and a 3.48 ERA and is expected to be matched against Pittsburgh's Ivan Nova (4-5, 4.42).
Corbin has given up at least five runs in three of his past four starts, including five against the Pirates at home on June 11.
In his most recent outing, a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday, he gave up all five runs on eight hits in six innings.
"Just a couple mistakes there," Corbin said of the game against the Mets. "If I locate better, different outcome."
Corbin, who is 1-2 with a 5.90 ERA in five career starts against Pittsburgh, hasn't been completely off lately. He has 19 strikeouts in his past 16 2/3 innings.
But against the Mets he could not pinpoint his curveball or his fastball.
"I just thought the pitch sequencing was a little bit off, and I thought there were a lot of fastball mistakes out over the plate that were hit, and they were handled by the Mets," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "Didn't really get to the secondary stuff the way he typically does, and I think it's more a product of the game plan and sequencing."
Lovullo hasn't lost confidence in Corbin.
"Worrisome? No. Not an issue for me whatsoever. We know that the season is going to have good and bad moments," he said.
The Diamondbacks (41-33) cruised to a 9-3 win in the series opener Thursday as the Pirates (36-38) lost for the third time in four games.
Pittsburgh dropped two of three last week at Arizona.
Nova was initially scheduled to start Thursday, but the Pirates opted to move everyone back a day when Wednesday's game against Milwaukee was rained out, rather than do any shuffling with his rotation.
"This group right here has shown the ability to be flexible, to be resilient and also shown some benefits from an extra day (of rest) every now and then," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
It didn't pan out that way. Chad Kuhl, who started the opener against Arizona after warming up several times Wednesday when there was false hope that the game against Milwaukee would be played, got rocked by the Diamondbacks for eight runs in two-plus innings.
Nova is coming off two good starts, going 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA since he was removed from the disabled list (sprained finger).
On Saturday, he struggled with his curveball, but it didn't stop him from allowing just one run and five hits in six innings of a 6-2 win over Cincinnati.
"Even though I walked a couple guys, the fastball command is better than what it was before I hit the DL," Nova said. "I think I've been able to control it a bit better. I think that's been the key."
Nova is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Updated June 21, 2018