Matt Cain had nine wins when he started the All-Star game last year. Patrick Corbin has already reached that mark with just under six weeks until the next Midsummer Classic.
Corbin looks to become the first starter in 16 years to go 10-0 before the break Friday night, when the NL West-leading Diamondbacks open a three-game series against Cain and the visiting San Francisco Giants.Cain (4-3, 5.45 ERA) had his best season last year, setting career bests in wins (16), ERA (2.79) and strikeouts (193). The right-hander was also named the All-Star game starter after going 9-3 with a 2.62 ERA through his first 17 starts.In his first full major league season, Corbin (9-0, 2.06) has needed only 11 outings to match that win total. As the major league wins leader, Corbin is an early favorite to get the nod in next month's All-Star game at New York's Citi Field.Before that, he'll try to become the first pitcher to win his first 10 decisions before the break since Roger Clemens won 11 in a row with Toronto in 1997, en route to winning the AL Cy Young.Corbin, 23, has tied Brandon Webb -- the 2006 NL Cy Young winner -- for the best start in Diamondbacks' history, set in 2008.The left-hander's streak continued with some assistance from his offense Sunday, as he allowed four runs and hit two batters in six innings of an 8-4 win over the Chicago Cubs."Every start he goes out there he learns," manager Kirk Gibson told the team's official website. "He's becoming a better pitcher. Maybe he gave up some runs those last couple of starts, but he's a better pitcher, I'm telling you that right now. He has a better understanding; (he's) going to be better prepared to work through situations."Corbin is 2-1 with a 4.45 ERA in five career starts versus the Giants, but he's won both home meetings while yielding three runs in 15 innings.He'll look to help Arizona (34-26) rebound from Thursday's 12-8 loss at St. Louis, settling for a split of the four-game series.The Giants (31-28) have dropped six of nine and are turning to Cain in an effort to bounce back from Wednesday's 4-0 defeat to Toronto.Cain, however, has not fared well in two starts against the Diamondbacks this season, allowing eight runs and four homers in 12 innings. He had a 1.00 ERA while winning his last three meetings in 2012.The three-time All-Star is coming off perhaps his worst start of the season, surrendering seven runs and nine hits with nine strikeouts in six innings of an 8-0 loss at St. Louis on Saturday."You'll have outings like that, but you have to kind of get over it," Cain told the team's official website.San Francisco may need that mentality if it's going to show improvement on the road, where it's lost 17 of 27. Three of those wins, though, came in a sweep of Arizona from April 29-May 1.Buster Posey was 1 for 9 in that series. The star catcher is batting .247 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 24 road games compared to .342 with five homers and 21 RBIs at home.He's 5 for 14 (.357) versus Corbin.
Patrick Corbin is trying to become just the third player in MLB history to be undefeated AND the first pitcher to 10 wins in a season at age 23 or younger. He would join Roger Clemens (who won both the AL Cy Young and MVP awards in 1986) and Rube Marquard (1912) who's in the Baseball Hall of Fame.