Kyle Schwarber hit his fourth leadoff home run in the last 10 games. Kyle Schwarber hit two more after homering in the first at bat of the bottom of the first, for three total in the 5-2 win over the New York Mets, and put up just the sixth, three-homer game in Nationals’ history (2005-present), the first since a three-homer game by Anthony Rendon in 2017. Oh, and he has hit five homers in the last two games now. Schwar. Bombs.
Get on board, Kyle is leading this surge, and he’s not waiting for others to come along...
Corbin vs the NY: In what was arguably his best and innings-and-pitch-wise was his longest start of the 2021 season, Patrick Corbin held the Pirates to a run on eight hits in 8 1⁄3 innings in an 8-1 win last week in the nation’s capital.
That outing followed a five-start stretch in which the left-hander had a 6.51 ERA, 12 walks, 19 Ks, and a .327/.393/.449 line against in 26 IP.
So which Corbin would show up today against the Mets? Was his solid start more about the fact that the was facing the Pirates? Or did he figure something out?
Corbin worked around a single in the first this afternoon, and came back out for the second with a 1-0 lead courtesy of another leadoff blast by Kyle Schwarber, but Kevin Pillar led off in the top of the second inning with an opposite field shot to right field on a 1-0 sinker, tying it up with one swing, 1-1.
After giving up a two-out single by Francisco Lindor in the third, Corbin retired seven in a row to get through five on 66 pitches as the Nationals retook the lead, and he returned to the mound with a 3-1 advantage in the sixth and set down three more Mets to make it 10-straight and six strong on 76 pitches.
The streak of retired batters ended with a solo shot to left by Pete Alonso in the top of the seventh, and a walk in the next at bat brought an abrupt end to Corbin’s outing... 3-2 Nats.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 2 HRs, 82 P, 62 S, 5/5 GO/FO.
Patrick Corbin, Filthy 83mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/SDvfjWIel6— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 20, 2021
Walker vs Washington: Signed to a 2-year/$20M free agent deal this winter, Taijuan Walker has been a revelation for the Mets over the first two and a half months, with a 2.12 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 24 walks, 72 Ks, and a .184/.262/.251 line against 12 starts and 68 IP into his ninth major league campaign.
In back-to-back wins in his last two outings before facing the Nationals today, the righty had one walk and 21 Ks in 14 IP, holding opposing hitters to a .196/.226/.275 line.
Walker tossed seven scoreless against the Mets’ NL East rivals when he faced the Nationals in Citi Field back in April.
Today in Nationals Park, the 28-year-old starter fell behind early, like three pitches in early, when Kyle Schwarber hit a 2-0 fastball out to left for another leadoff blast and a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Schwarber’s 16th of 2021, his 4th leadoff blast in 10 games, and just the 4th HR off the Mets’ right-hander this season.
Trea Turner singled to start the Nationals’ third, stole second base (14), and scored on a one-out single to center by Josh Bell, 2-1 Nats.
Schwarber got Walker again in the fifth, leading off the inning with a line drive homer to right on a 94 MPH 3-2 sinker up high, 3-1 Nationals. Schwarber’s 17th.
It was 3-2 in the seventh when a one-out, pinch hit double by Gerardo Parra knocked the Mets’ starter out...
Taijuan Walker’s Line: 6.1 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 85 P, 65 S, 9/2 GO/FO.
Schwarbombs: Kyle Schwarber’s leadoff home run in the first at bat of the Nationals’ first this afternoon was the fourth leadoff blast in the last 10 games for the Nationals’ slugger.
“Kyle hits a first inning homer basically every day,” teammate Trea Turner joked after the 3rd leadoff home run by Schwarber in nine games on Saturday.
“It’s a nice start and then we just got to build off that and continue to get guys on base.”
“Kyle starts off the game like that I think it gives us a little more confidence and we can go up to our at bats and have a little bit more confidence in ourselves,” Turner added.
Schwarber did it again in the fifth, leading off with a line drive home run to right field on a 3-2 sinker up in the zone that got out in a hurry for Schwarber’s 17th of 2021, and then he did it again in the seventh. C’mon now.
Kyle Schwarber HR total on June 18: 13— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 20, 2021
Kyle Schwarber HR total on June 20: 18
Bullpen Action: Kyle Finnegan came on in the seventh with a runner on first in a one-run game, and got a grounder up the middle by pinch hitter Dom Smith that Starlin Castro snagged with a backhand grab before scooting over to second and throwing to first base for a 5-3 DP in the shift. A backwards K ended the inning. Still 3-2 Nationals.
Jeurys Familia took over for the Mets with a runner on second and one out in the Nats’ half of the seventh and gave up Kyle Schwarber’s third home run of the game (and fifth in the last two) on an 0-1 sinker that bounced off the top of the left field fence, 5-2 Nationals.
Tanner Rainey retired the side in order in 21-pitch eighth.
Brad Hand came on with a three-run lead in the top of the ninth and retired the side in order to end it. Ballgame.
Final Score: 5-2 Nationals
Nationals now 33-36