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Shaky Patrick Corbin walks four batters in first inning of first playoff start

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The Nationals inked starter Patrick Corbin, now 30 years old, to a six-year, $140 million contract last December for starts like tonight’s: in the postseason, against tough offenses like the Dodgers’.

Corbin, however, was shaky in the first inning of his first career playoff start. The lefty walked A.J. Pollock to begin the bottom of the first inning. Then, after striking out David Freese and Justin Turner, Corbin issued consecutive walks to Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, and Max Muncy to force in a run. Corbin saw his way out of trouble by getting Corey Seager to ground out to end the inning.

All things considered, it could have been worse. Corbin should feel fortunate to have given up only one run after walking four batters in an inning — something he had never done before tonight.

Corbin appeared to right his ship in the second inning. He racked up another pair of strikeouts, working around a fielding error by first baseman Howie Kendrick.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.