May 27, 2011, 7:38 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
After a dismal road trip, the Nationals return home tonight to face the Padres.
There's no sugar-coating this: The Nationals are reeling right now. They've lost five in a row, having just dropped seven of eight on the road. Their $126 million right fielder made some cryptic comments the other day about the need for change. The clubhouse vibe, for the first time this season, is not exactly an upbeat one.
But if ever there was an opportunity to snap out of this funk and get things going in the right direction again, this is it: A weekend series against the equally reeling Padres, who have lost five of six and boast the majors' worst lineup. John Lannan, who hasn't pitched particularly well this month, needs to take advantage of this matchup.
With Clayton Richard on the mound for San Diego, Jim Riggleman is going with what appears to now be his regular lineup against lefties. That means Brian Bixler in left field over Laynce Nix, a career .192 hitter against left-handers.
In other words, first team to score tonight wins. Check back for updates…
PADRES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Chance of storms, 80 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to LF
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
1B Michael Morse
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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