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Game 96: Dodgers at Nats

Jul 19, 2013, 7:21 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

It's been a long four days without baseball, but at last the Nationals are back on the field tonight, determined to open the second half of their season on a positive note. The challenge right out of the blocks isn't easy: the Dodgers have MLB's best record since June 22 at 17-5, and they send Ricky Nolasco (career 11-7, 3.66 ERA vs. the Nats) to the mound for the opener.

Stephen Strasburg gets the start for the Nationals, coming off the worst start of his career and also dealing with some oppressive heat and humidity tonight. As I type this, the heat index in Washington stands at 110, with the dew point an insane 78. We've seen Strasburg struggle with heat in the past; it'll be interesting to see how he deals with this tonight.

If you've got tickets to the game, please be prepared yourself for the conditions and plan to drink lots of water. If you're staying home to watch in the comfort of central air conditioning, you're in luck. I'll be sweating it out here and will have updates and analysis throughout…

LOS ANGELES DODGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 184
Weather: Humid, 92 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (48-47)
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper

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NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
NEW YORK7358
WASHINGTON66646.5
ATLANTA547719.0
MIAMI537920.5
PHILADELPHIA528021.5
*Through Monday's games

NL WILD CARD STANDINGS

WLGB
PITTSBURGH7950+5.5
CHICAGO7456
SAN FRANCISCO69625.5
WASHINGTON66648.0
*Through Monday's games

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Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to recap everything happening with the Nats and across baseball.

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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
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