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DENVER — Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta

  • 11 April 2019
    is quite familiar
    with the challenge that awaits the Rockies on Wednesday when left-hander Patrick
    Corbin starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks.Iannetta spent last season with the
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    , meaning he caught Corbin (11-5, 3.01 ERA), who will
    oppose Jon Gray (11-7, 4.69).The Diamondbacks’ 6-3 victory Tuesday moved them
    within 2 1/2 games of the Rockies (79-65), who lead the National League West by
    1 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The win was only the third in 11 games
    for the Diamondbacks (77-68), who are four games behind St. Louis for the final
    wild-card spot.Article continues below ...Corbin has allowed three or fewer runs
    in seven straight starts. He’s 4-1, 2.23 in that span with five walks and 57
    strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings and two home runs allowed. He has limited opposing
    hitters to a .202 average and .524 OPS during that stretch.Overall this season,
    Corbin has had more success against right-handed hitters, limiting them to a
    .203 average and .553 OPS in 554 plate appearances. By
    contrast David
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    , left-handed hitters are batting .238 with a .704 OPS in 158
    plate appearances.He won his last start Friday against Atlanta, allowing one run
    and four hits in six innings with one walk and nine strikeouts as the
    Diamondbacks beat the Braves 5-3.In two starts against the Rockies this season,
    Corbin is 1-0, 3.60. He’s 8-3, 4.66 in 19 games (18 starts) against the
    Rockies.“I think first and foremost, the angle he creates with his fastball,”
    Iannetta said. “He has a really good downhill angle on it. He pitches inside
    really well to righties and away to lefties. He’s able to throw his two-seamer
    down and away to righties. He mixes in a change, which I was a big fan of, and
    then he’s got a plus slider.“That’s been the pitch that really sets him apart.
    His ability to back-foot that slider (to
    righties) ,
    to throw it for strikes inside and away. It’s really two pitches in one. When it
    ends up being backdoor, it’s more like a curveball to a rightie. When it’s more
    back foot, it’s more true slider. So he’s a three-pitch guy, but he’s really a
    four-pitch guy.”Arizona is 17-12 in starts by Corbin. The Rockies are 16-11 in
    starts by Gray, who has made 13 starts since he last lost June 17.In 10 starts
    since returning from Triple-A Albuquerque, where he made two starts in July,
    Gray is 4-0, 3.17 with 16 walks and 49 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings while
    limiting opposing hitters to a .209 average.Gray received a no-decision Friday
    against the Dodgers when the Rockies lost 4-2. Gray issued a career-high tying
    five walks in four innings while yielding four hits and two runs with four
    strikeouts. He threw 85 pitches in four innings, 49 for
    strikes Drew
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    , and since that start has worked in particular on his
    fastball command and being aggressive.“I want to get back to attacking the
    zone,” Gray said. “I feel I didn’t throw as many pitches in the zone and attack
    as I used to. I just want to get back to down and away (for strikes with the
    fastball). That pretty much fixes everything else. You feel like you’re getting
    pretty good glove side (location). With me it’s just fill up the strike zone
    more. The last 10 starts or whatever were efficient; that one wasn’t.” A look at
    what’s happening around the majors today:BUBBLY ON ICEFor the third night in a
    row, the Red Sox attempt to clinch the AL East championship at Yankee Stadium.
    Boston entered the three-game set needing one victory over rival New York to
    secure its third consecutive division crown. But the Yankees have put the party
    on hold with two wins, including a 10-1 rout Wednesday night. Eduardo Rodriguez
    (12-4, 3.53 ERA) pitches the series finale for the Red Sox against Masahiro
    Tanaka (12-5, 3.47), who has a 2.09 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break.
    Rodriguez has allowed one run or fewer in five of his past six starts. New York
    has 245 home runs this season, matching the franchise record set in 2012.NOW OR
    NEVERTrailing the first-place Braves by 5½ games in the NL East, the
    Philadelphia Phillies begin a four-game series at Atlanta. In
    fact Brandon
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    , seven of Philadelphia’s final 11 games are against the
    Braves, so the Phillies still feel they have a realistic chance to catch up.
    “We’re in a pretty unique, exciting position that doesn’t happen that often,”
    slugger Rhys Hoskins said. “It’s going to be a fun, really, really competitive,
    really, really intense series.” Vince Velasquez (9-11, 4.26 ERA) pitches the
    opener for Philadelphia against Kevin Gausman
    (10-10 ,
    3.92), who is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts at SunTrust Park. Velasquez is
    1-3 with a 7.52 ERA in his past seven starts. Atlanta’s magic number is six over
    the Phillies to clinch its first division title since 2013.FOR THE PRIZESeeking
    his third straight NL Cy Young Award, Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.53 ERA) is on the
    mound when the Washington Nationals host the Mets. That means his main
    competition, New York ace Jacob deGrom, will be watching from the opposing
    dugout.ON A ROLLTime is running out for the late-surging Rays, but they keep on
    winning. Tampa Bay goes for its sixth consecutive victory when the team opens
    its final road series of the season with the first of four games at Toronto. The
    surprising Rays (85-66) have won 14 of 17 in September and trail Oakland by 5½
    games for the second AL wild card with 11 remaining. Tampa Bay’s record would be
    good for at least a share of first place in three of the six divisions, yet the
    Rays are third in the AL East behind the Red Sox and Yankees. Blue Jays starter
    Sam Gaviglio is 1-8 since July 20 and has lost both his games against Tampa Bay
    this season.