Jul 9, 2010, 7:20 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg faces Matt Cain tonight in a top-tier pitching matchup.
It's the final Strasmas of the first half, and the kid will be facing yet another stiff challenge tonight at Nationals Park.
For one thing, the Giants are sending a tough right-hander of their own to the mound in Matt Cain (career 4-2 with a 2.67 ERA against the Nats). For another thing, Jim Riggleman won't have several regulars in his lineup.
Josh Willingham has a surprising day off. That wasn't announced in advance, so I'm not sure if there's an injury issue or something else, but I'll let you know once I know. Everyone's favorite Willie Harris is starting in left field. Ian Desmond also is out, though that was somewhat expected. Riggleman said yesterday that Cristian Guzman would be starting all three games of this series.
And for the first time in Strasburg's brief career, Ivan Rodriguez will not be behind the plate. Pudge started all three games against San Diego, so Wil Nieves gets his first regular-season crack at catching The Kid tonight. (Nieves did work with Strasburg in spring training.)
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: Partly cloudy, 89 degrees, Wind 10 mph RF to LF
CF Nyjer Morgan
RF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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