Jordan Zimmermann has pitched well enough this season to have won all three of his starts, but a lack of run support has instead left the Nationals starter without a victory.
Washington's offense will try to give Zimmermann a better fate this evening in the second of three straight games against the San Diego Padres.
The right-handed Zimmermann has gone seven innings and allowed just one earned run in each of his first three outings, but has gone 0-1 despite a 1.29 earned run average and hasn't factored into the decision of his past two outings. That's because Washington has managed to score just two runs when the 25-year- old is on the mound.
Zimmermann scattered four hits and struck out three without a walk last Wednesday versus the Astros, but left with the game tied at 1-1. Washington eventually went on to record a 3-2 victory.
Zimmermann, who has issued just two walks so far this season, is 0-1 with a 1.38 ERA in two career starts versus the Padres.
The former second-round pick will try to pick up where Gio Gonzalez left off in Tuesday's series-opening 3-1 win. Gonzalez threw six scoreless innings of two-hit ball, striking out six to extend Washington's scoreless-innings streak by its starters to 22.
Chad Tracy hit a pinch-hit single that plated two runs and Rick Ankiel added an RBI single for the Nationals, who were coming off an 8-2 homestand and won their third straight game as they continue to extend their best start to a season since relocating to Washington.
Clayton Richard gave up two runs on three hits and five walks while striking out six over 6 1/3 innings for the Padres, who had won their previous two games.
"You never know how a game is going to play out but Tracy got the (hit), put them ahead, and their bullpen did a nice job," said Padres manager Bud Black.
Tonight, Black will start young hurler Joe Wieland, who is set to make the third start of his big league career.
Acquired from Texas last season in a deal for reliever Mike Adams, Wieland made his major league debut on April 14 and struggled in a loss to the Dodgers, giving up six runs over five innings. Three of the six hits he allowed were home runs.
However, the righty was much sharper on Thursday versus the Phillies, allowing a run over six innings while striking out seven. While his first-inning run allowed was enough to land him a 2-0 losing decision, Black praised the youngster for his effort.
"This guy has less than two weeks in the major leagues at 22 years old and he's showing some good signs at a really, really infant stage," Black said.
Wieland likely won't have to face Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who hasn't played since Friday due to a right shoulder injury. Zimmerman had an MRI and the exam is scheduled to be studied by the team's physician. Nationals manager Davey Johnson did say he things that Zimmerman is still going to need some more rest.
The Nationals won three of four in San Diego last season.