Adam Wainwright, Patrick Corbin seek improvement in Cardinals-Nationals matchup

MLB

A pair of veteran pitchers will look to bounce back from sub-par outings when the St. Louis Cardinals visit the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.

Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright (0-2, 7.11 ERA) faces left-hander Patrick Corbin (0-2, 21.32) in the second game of a three-game series.

In his previous start, Wainwright struck out seven Nationals in five innings last Wednesday but gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits.

Wainwright is 10-5 with a 3.21 ERA in 18 games (16 starts) against Washington. The Nationals’ Josh Harrison is 13-for-33 (.394) with one home run against Wainwright and Ryan Zimmerman is 13-for-37 (.351) with three homers. Juan Soto went 2-for-5 and last Wednesday and scored twice.

“I know there’s a great pitcher on the mound,” Soto said of Wainwright. “He has amazing pitches. I don’t try to do too much. Just put the ball in play.”

Corbin’s last start came Thursday in a loss to the Diamondbacks when he allowed nine earned runs in two innings. He’s allowed 15 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings over two starts.

“You try to forget about these,” Corbin said. “But like I said, I feel all right. I can’t think of something off the top of my head. You just get back to the simple things: commanding the strike zone, throwing quality pitches, getting ahead of guys, things like that. Stick to my strengths.”

Corbin is 2-2 with a 4.17 ERA in seven starts against the Cardinals. Nolan Arenado is 13-for-47 (.277) with three home runs against Corbin and Yadier Molina is 4-for-16 (.250).

The last time Corbin faced the Cardinals was Game 4 of the 2019 NLCS. He allowed four runs in five innings, picking up the win in the series clincher.

One day after getting shut out in Philadelphia, the Cardinals erupted with five home runs in a 12-5 win on Monday.

Paul DeJong led the way with a grand slam and a solo shot. It was DeJong’s second multi-homer game of the season and his five RBIs tied a career high. He has hit safely in six straight games, in which he’s batted .318 (7-for-22) with three home runs, six RBIs and six runs scored.

Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt and Justin Williams also homered for the Cardinals, who avenged their loss to Joe Ross last week, when he threw six shutout innings against them.

“Guys were in between last time,” DeJong said. “They were kind of late, broken-bat, weak groundballs — those were the types of things we wanted to avoid. We wanted to stay on the heater outside.”

The Cardinals offense has been up and down of late, a pattern DeJong knows they need to break.

“I think (Tuesday) is going to be a real big challenge for us to have discipline,” he said. “We’ve got to keep working together and helping each other.”

Ross (1-1), who had pitched 11 scoreless innings coming in, was roughed up for 10 runs on eight hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.

“We haven’t gotten any length out of our starters,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Our bullpen right now … they did a great job for us once again, but they’re getting taxed. They’re pitching way, way too much. We’ve definitely got to keep an eye on these guys or we won’t have a bullpen.”

Harrison went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and run scored. He has not struck out in 32 consecutive at-bats, the longest active streak in the majors.

–Field Level Media

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