Opposite dugout: Padres once again scuffling in NL West

Manager: Andy Green (3rd season)

Record: 13-22

Last 10 games: 4-6

Who to watch: 1B Eric Hosmer (.297 with 5 HR, 12 RBIs), 3B Christian Villanueva (.265 with 9 HR, 20 RBIs), LF Jose Pirela (.250 with 35 hits, 11 RBIs), RHP Tyson Ross (2-2, 3.28 ERA); LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-2, 3:13 ERA), LHP Brad Hand (8 saves, 2.70 ERA)

Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (2-5 in 2017)

Pitching probables:

May 7: RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-3) vs. RHP Tyson Ross (2-2), 10:10 p.m., MASN
May 8: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (0-0) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (1-4), 10:10 p.m., MASN2
May 9: LHP Gio Gonzalez (4-2) vs. LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-2), 9:10 p.m., MASN2

Inside the Padres:

Life for Padres fans can't be much fun. After watching the San Francisco Giants create a dynasty - complete with three World Series championships - in the early part of the decade, San Diego was then forced to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers shift into the division driver's seat. The boys from Chavez Ravine have captured five straight National League West titles, while even the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks have enjoyed recent trips to the postseason. The Padres, meanwhile, have spent much of the past eight years scuffling along the bottom part of the standings. The franchise hasn't been to the playoffs since 2006, and hasn't even finished a season above .500 since 2010. A 13-22 start this year certainly hasn't suggested those trends are about to change, but like in years past, there is some noticeable talent on the roster, capable of righting the ship.

If you felt a cool breeze just now, it could be the Padres offense. Simply put, this year's club is on pace to make the wrong kind of history at the plate. The most strikeouts by a team in a single season is 1,571, set by the 2017 Brewers. The 2018 Padres are on pace for 1,668 whiffs. Ready for more numbers? Padres hitters are currently averaging roughly 10 strikeouts per game. That means that in the next two weeks, the club will likely surpass the number of total strikeouts Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn tallied in his career. Yikes. Despite their propensity to swing the bat unsuccessfully, the Padres lineup does have some guys who can rake. First-year Padre Eric Hosmer is batting .297, while third baseman Christian Villanueva leads the club with nine home runs. After enjoying a stellar rookie season, centerfielder Manuel Margot is struggling a bit out of the gate in 2018 (.169/.219/.488), but he could break out at any time. The Padres are still waiting for power hitter Wil Myers to return to full health. Myers suffered an oblique injury at the end of April and likely won't be back for this series against Washington.

Although the Padres lineup has racked up strikeouts at a record-setting pace, Padres pitchers haven't been stingy in doling out the Ks, either. Tonight's starter, Tyson Ross, has picked up 40 strikeouts in his six starts this season, including 26 in his last three. In his last start, Ross allowed just one earned run over six innings in a win against the Giants. Veteran Clayton Richard starts for San Diego on Tuesday. Richard has had a rough start to the year, posting a 6.21 ERA and just a 1-4 record. There might be reason for optimism, however, as the 34-year-old southpaw boasts a 3.67 career ERA in 11 starts against the Nationals. Rookie Joey Lucchesi, meanwhile, will make his first ever start against the Nationals in Wednesday's series finale. Lucchesi was drafted by the Padres in the fourth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, and has pitched to a solid 3.13 ERA in seven starts. He hasn't gone more than six innings in any of his starts, but has won three of his last five decisions.

In the bullpen, lefty Brad Hand closes the door for the Friars. Entering Sunday, Hand was tied for fourth in the NL in saves (eight), and has given up runs in just two of his 15 appearances. Along with Hand, the Padres 'pen features relievers Adam Cimber, Jordan Lyles and former National Craig Stammen.

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