Patrick Corbin continues to be worth Nationals' $140 million investment, throws fourth quality start in as many tries

When the Washington Nationals signed left-handed starter Patrick Corbin to a six-year deal worth $140 million during the offseason, they hoped he would combine with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to form one of the best (if not the best) one-through-threes in baseball. Strasburg is still trying to get on track, but both Corbin and Scherzer have done their part, as they entered Thursday with a combined ERA of 3.13 in 46 innings across seven starts.

Corbin made his fourth appearance on Thursday, maintaining his season-long streak of quality starts by overcoming the San Francisco Giants. He tossed 7 2/3 frames, striking out nine and allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk. Corbin also set a new season-high in pitches by throwing 107, as manager Davey Martinez did his best to avoid calling upon his bullpen.

Per usual, Corbin found a good deal of success with his slider. He entered the game having thrown it about 36 percent of the time -- a little less than the 40 percent usage rate he posted last season in Arizona. On Thursday, he stayed true to his seasonal tendency, chucking 37 sliders and coercing seven of his 10 whiffs.

It's worth noting that through his first three starts, Corbin ranked ninth in the National League in innings per appearance. Scherzer ranked fourth, with the rest of the Nationals rotation finishing within the top-30. It's perhaps no wonder, then, why Washington as a group leads the NL in the category. For as long as the Nationals bullpen remains a sieve, and for as long as Corbin continues to pitch like this, expect to see him working deep every time out. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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