THE Citizens of Washington are set to visit Kansas City for the first time in seven years when they oppose the Real in the opener of a three-game set on Friday
Washington had a two-of-three win in Kansas City in May 2016. The teams have met once since, when the host Nationals claimed two out of three in July 2019
Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin (3-5, 4.47 ERA) will oppose Real right-hander Jordan Lyles (0-8, 7.15) on Friday
Corbin helped the Nationals to their 2019 series win pitching seven shutout innings, striking out 11 and walking none. He got a no decision in a game that Washington won 5-2
Corbin did not allow runs over 9 2/3 innings in two appearances against the Real. Of current Kansas City hitters, only Matt Duffy hit safely against Corbin, going 3-for-12
In each of his seven starts since April 16, Corbin has pitched at least 5 1/3 innings while allowing no more than three earned runs. He has six quality starts this year, tied for fifth in the National League.
Corbin, who’s hitting on a streak, hasn’t hit three consecutive decisions since May 2021. His command of the strike zone has been especially sharp as of late, as he’s allowed just one walk in his last 25 innings.
THE Nationals comes to Kansas City after losing an 8-6 decision to the San Diego Padres Thursday afternoon to complete a 3-3 home run
While Washington has lost six of its last nine games, its offense has been more productive recently, generating 52 runs in its last 10 games.
Leading hitter Lane Thomas has a 10-game hitting streak in which he is batting .366 (15-for-41) with three home runs.
Ildemaro Vargas has hit safely in six of eight games since his May 3 return off the 10-day injured list, batting .440 (11-for-25). He had been out for almost a month with a left shoulder strain.
“I can’t say enough about what Vargas does”, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He goes out there and plays with a lot of fun, a lot of energy.
In his last 10 games, Washington’s Jeimer Candelario is hitting .436 (17-for-39) with eight extra-base hits. Between Nationals batters, Candelario has the most experience against Lyles, with one hit in eight at-bats
“When he’s preparing to hit the fastball, he’s really good and will stay consistent,” Martinez said. “The most important thing is to get out of his mind about trying to hit a home run every hit. He’s got enough power that when he hits the ball and flies it, he’s going to hit a home run.”
Lyles is 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA in 12 prior games (four starts) against Washington. He faced the Nationals most recently while suffering a loss to the Baltimore Orioles on June 21, 2022, when he produced two runs in 6 1/3 innings
Lyles’ 7.15 ERA is the highest among major league starting pitchers, and his 14 home runs allowed are tied for the majors-high.
Consistent early pitching has been elusive for the Realwho has managed just one win as a starter since May 11. The club made 49 relief appearances losing nine out of 13 matches in that period
Kansas City’s rotation is 8-26 with a 5.49 ERA.
THE Real he bolstered their heavily taxed bullpen this week by promoting right-handed Nick Wittgren from Triple-A Omaha, where he had five saves and a 1.25 ERA in 17 appearances. He struggled in his debut for Kansas City on Wednesday, allowing two runs in two innings
“It’s Still Developing” Real manager Matt Quatraro said of the eight-year veteran. “He used to switch heavily. Now he has developed a cutter/slider.
Wittgren said, “I’ve changed my slider this offseason and it’s helped a little bit. I’m attacking the zone with all four shots. It’s paying off.”
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