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  • 11 Apr

    Descalso Jersey
    , Ariz. — Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin
    picked a great year to have a great year.Corbin will be one of the most coveted
    free agents in the majors this winter, and entering the market after a career
    year is never a bad plan.He will bring a 10-5 record and a 3.06 ERA into his
    29th start of the season Friday in the second game of a four-game series against
    Atlanta at Chase Field. The Braves will counter with right-hander Kevin Gausman
    (9-9, 3.78 ERA).Article continues below ...Atlanta won the series opener,
    although it was not easy. The Braves took a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning, lost
    a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth on a Paul Goldschmidt game-tying
    homer, and rallied for a 7-6, 10-inning victory to avoid a second straight
    difficult loss. The Braves lost a six-run lead in the eighth and a one-run lead
    in the ninth in a 9-8 loss to Boston at home on Wednesday.“I tell you what it
    speaks to, the makeup of that team in there,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker
    said, nodding toward the clubhouse. “The resiliency. The fight. The grit. It
    speaks volumes. After what we experienced (Wednesday) and to potentially get
    your heart ripped out again … and those guys pulled off a win.”The Braves
    increased their NL East lead to 3 1/2 games while the Diamondbacks fell 2 1/2
    games behind NL West-leading Colorado. The Diamondbacks have lost five of six
    and will look to Corbin to turn it around.Corbin, 29, is third in the NL with a
    career-high 214
    strikeouts Ketel
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    , trailing only Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. Corbin is
    averaging 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings, second in the NL, and his 5.2-to-1
    ratio of strikeouts to walks is third.About all he has lacked this season is
    consistent run support.Those numbers probably would have translated into more
    victories had he received more than an average of 4.04 runs per start. Corbin
    has turned it up down the stretch, having given up as many as four runs only
    twice in his last 13 starts. Nine of those were quality starts.Corbin was chosen
    to make his first Opening Day start this season, threw a one-hit shutout in his
    fourth start and kept rolling. He recently tied Miguel Batista’s team record for
    starters by going 11 consecutive starts without giving up a home run. Arizona
    manager Torey Lovullo said he was impressed by the offseason commitment Corbin
    showed after going 14-13 with 4.03 ERA in 2017.“It’s not a surprise to me — it
    is what he had in him,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of Corbin’s year.“The
    type of offseason, work-wise, that he had was leading me to believe he was
    prepared physically for the season. Emotionally is always a wild card. You just
    don’t know where they are going from a mindset standpoint. But fundamentally I
    knew that he was going to be locked in.“It was a big year for him personally for
    a lot of different reasons. I know he wanted to contribute to this team the best
    that he could. My conversations with him, they seemed very directed and pointed
    toward a healthy year. When he was named the Opening Day starter, I think it
    took him emotionally to a whole new level.”Gausman, the fourth player taken in
    the 2012 draft, has pitched like it since joining the Braves in a July 31
    deadline deal with
    Baltimore ,
    a trade that also brought reliever Darren O’Day in exchange for a package of
    four minor league players and international bonus pool money.After a few minor
    tweaks to his approach, Gausman has posted a 4-1 record and a 1.66 ERA is six
    starts for Atlanta, including four quality starts. He has given up as many as
    three earned runs only once. In 38 innings, he has given up 26 hits and has 26
    strikeouts while holding opponents to a .190 batting average.“They’ve made some
    adjustments,” Snitker said. “I think they did something with the delivery. Our
    system, the game-planning, has benefited him. He’s another one who has really
    fit in great here. He’s been really, really good for us.”Gausman was 5-8 with a
    4.43 ERA in 21 starts with the Orioles, where he spent his previous five
    seasons.The Braves control him for one more year before possible free
    agency.Gausman has never faced the Diamondbacks.Corbin has made five quality
    starts in his last six appearances, and he threw five scoreless innings against
    the Dodgers in the one game he did not, receiving a no-decision in a 3-2 loss
    last Saturday in Los Angeles. He had 48 strikeouts against four walks in that
    span.Corbin faced Atlanta in their first series this season, giving up six hits
    and four runs in six innings of a 5-1 loss on July
    15 ,
    the final game before the All-Star break. Corbin was named to the NL All-Star
    team but did not pitch in the game. He is 4-1 with a 1.69 ERA in eight career
    appearances (six starts) against Atlanta. That is Corbin’s lowest ERA against
    any opponent he has faced more than once. The San Francisco Giants have
    reportedly expanded their search for a president of baseball operations to their
    archrivals.According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, San Francisco is "interested"
    in Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi for the role. While Morosi
    cautioned it is "unclear if the scenario is viable," he noted the interest could
    be the reason San Francisco's search has been somewhat slow.This comes
    afterBruce Levineof 670 The Score reported the Giants interviewed Chicago Cubs
    senior vice president Jason McLeod."We needed to take a fresh approach with
    baseball operations," Giants CEO LarryBaersaid in September after San Francisco
    fired general manager Bobby Evans, according toMark Gonzalesof theChicago
    Tribune. "We've had a very successful group here a long time, but we have to
    bring a new approach to Giants baseball and take a look outside."As forZaidi,
    the Dodgersnamedhim general manager in November 2014 after he was with the
    Oakland Athletics for 10 years in positions such as the assistant general
    manager and director of baseball operations.Los Angeles won the National League
    West all four years under his direction and reached the 2016 National League
    Championship Series and past two World Series before losing to the eventual
    champions each time.The Giants have not enjoyed that level of success since they
    won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The 2012 campaign was the last time
    they won the division, and they finished in last place in the NL West in 2017
    and fourth this past season.