While tensions could still be being running hot between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers in their decisive series finale, it might not be enough to overshadow a potentially stellar matchup between two of the NL's top pitchers.
Patrick Corbin again tries to become the majors' first 10-game winner Wednesday night when he faces rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Dodgers, who will be without budding star Yasiel Puig.Light-hitting catcher Tim Federowicz delivered a three-run double in the eighth inning to help Los Angeles (28-36) snap a five-game skid to Arizona with a 5-3 victory Tuesday. However, the game was marred by five hit batsmen and two bench-clearing incidents. The second of which resulted in the ejection of Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy and manager Kirk Gibson.Puig also was ejected, along with Los Angeles reliever Ronald Belisario, hitting coach Mark McGwire and Arizona coach Turner Ward."It got pretty ugly," Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said.Puig was hit in the nose by Kennedy on a pitch that deflected off his shoulder in the sixth. Los Angeles' Zack Greinke hit Montero in the seventh to clear the benches for the first time. Greinke was then plunked by Kennedy in the bottom of the frame to incite the more physical of the two incidents."Everything happened so fast," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It just gets a little crazy out there."Puig hit .500 (16 for 32) with four homers and 10 RBIs in his first eight career games before he went 0 for 2 on Tuesday. Without him, the Dodgers managed to beat the Diamondbacks (36-29) for the fourth time in 20 games.He won't play Wednesday because of a strained right shoulder. There was no immediate explanation of how Puig hurt himself, although he participated in Tuesday's brawl.Arizona tries to bounce back behind Corbin (9-0, 1.98 ERA), who has already matched the best start in franchise history and can become the first pitcher to go 10-0 before the All-Star break since Roger Clemens went 11-0 for Toronto in 1997.The left-hander gave up four runs over six innings in two straight starts before he allowed one in 7 1/3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-1 victory over San Francisco on Friday. The Diamondbacks are 12-0 when Corbin takes the mound.He's 2-1 versus Los Angeles, and as a starter has pitched 15 1/3 innings scoreless innings against the Dodgers. Corbin allowed three hits in six innings of a 3-0 win over the Dodgers on April 12. In his only appearance at Los Angeles in 2012, he yielded two hits in six frames of a 4-0 victory.Ryu (6-2, 2.72), meanwhile, is 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA in six home starts this season.The left-hander, 3-0 with a 1.51 ERA in his last five overall, has allowed one run, eight hits and struck out 13 in 16 2/3 innings of his last two outings -- both at home. After missing his previous start with a bruised foot, Ryu gave up that run over 7 2/3 innings of a 2-1, 10-inning home victory over Atlanta on Friday."He really knows what he's doing," Mattingly told the Dodgers' official website. "He's fun to watch pitch. It's just been special to watch."Ryu allowed three runs and struck out nine in six innings of a 7-5 win at Arizona on April 13.Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt went 2 for 3 with a double off him, but is 2 for 23 in six games to drop his average from .336 to .313.Willie Bloomquist had a go-ahead RBI single Tuesday for the Diamondbacks, who have dropped four of six. He's batting .441 (15 for 34) with six RBIs in 10 games since making his season debut from an oblique strain.Los Angeles' Andre Ethier had two hits, including a game-tying two-run homer. He's 1 for 9 with five strikeouts against 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.