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Nationals Start Jeff Kobernus And Tyler Moore vs D-Backs' Lefty Patrick Corbin

Washington (84-75) wraps up its 2013 season with a three-game series with Arizona Diamondbacks (80-79) in Chase Field where the Nationals send Stephen Strasburg to the mound in the series opener. Denard Span and Adam LaRoche are both sitting in the first game in Phoenix...

Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIR

Arizona Diamondbacks' lefty Patrick Corbin, an LA Angels' '09 2nd Round pick acquired by Arizona in the July 2010 trade that sent Dan Haren to Los Angeles, starts tonight in Chase Field opposite the no.1 overall pick of the 2009 Draft, Stephen Strasburg, in the first game of three in the final series of the 2013 season for both the D-Backs and visiting Washington Nationals.

Corbin, 24, has held left-handed hitters to a .201/.262/.290 line so far this season, so the Nats are sitting two of the left-handed bats in their lineup who've struggled to hit LHPs. Denard Span, who has a .281/.358/.374 line vs lefties overall in his career, enters this weekend's series with a .223/.278/.261 line vs lefties. Adam LaRoche, who had a .268/.319/.506 line vs LHPs last season and has a .244/.299/.429 line vs lefties in his career, starts the final three games with a .192/.248/.308 line vs LHPs.

In place of Span and LaRoche tonight against the D-Backs are Jeff Kobernus, leading off and playing left with Bryce Harper (.211/.327/.313 vs LHP) in center field tonight and Tyler Moore, who's playing first and batting seventh:

Kobernus, 25, had a .318/.366/.388 line in 95 games and 412 plate appearances with the Nats' Triple-A affiliate this season and the right-handed hitting and throwing IF/OF had a .391/.442/.483 line against lefties. Moore, 26, was up and down between the Nats' top minor league team and the majors, but he got 200 plate appearances in with the Syracuse Chiefs, putting up a .366/.451/.707 line against lefties there, though he has just a .174/.227/.246 line vs left-handers in a smaller sample size (75 PAs) in the major leagues in 2013. Last year in D.C., Moore had a .247/.307/.473 line vs LHPs.

Though the Nationals as a team have struggled to hit left-handed pitching in 2013, with a combined .237/.305/.365 line (tied for 12th w/ St. Louis in AVG; 10th of 15 on OBP; 14th of 15 NL teams in SLG), Washington is 11-5 in games started by left-handed opposing pitchers since August 1st. After a 16-11 August overall, the Nats are 16-8 so far in September though they've lost four of their last five games after getting swept by the Cardinals this week.

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