Jul 6, 2010, 7:37 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The surprising Padres come to scorching Nationals Park tonight.
The Padres have been playing as well this season as anyone else in the National League, and as the All-Star break approaches, there's little reason to believe these guys can't sustain their level of performance and challenge for the NL West title.
Why? Because the Padres have two things most teams in baseball would kill for: great pitching and great defense. This team owns a major-league-best 3.07 ERA, bolstered both by a talented rotation and an incredibly deep bullpen that features six relievers with ERAs under 2.25. The Padres also play outstanding defense, having posted an MLB-leading .990 team fielding percentage.
Young lefty Clayton Richard, who actually lost to John Lannan back on May 28 at Petco Park, takes the mound for the visitors. Livan Hernandez starts for the Nationals, who may have one thing going for them tonight and in this series: The weather. Not that the local team doesn't think it's brutally hot and humid right now, but can imagine what these pampered souls from San Diego thought when they stepped off the plane and felt the blast of heat?
Check back for updates before, during and after the game…
PADRES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Sunny, 97 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT IN
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