It’s been hit or miss for Jeff Weaver this season.
The 28-year-old right-hander is 0-2 with an 11.32 ERA over his last two starts. He also was tagged for eight runs and 11 hits over three-plus innings in the lone start in which he did not receive a decision—Los Angeles’ 9-8 win over San Francisco on April 12.
Weaver sandwiched a pair of outstanding efforts around that start, firing a five-hitter in a 6-0 win over San Diego on April 17 and pitching eight scoreless innings in his season debut on April 7. However, despite those strong showings opponents are hitting .315 against him.
Washington will counter with Zach Day, who is starting three days after he was scratched from a start against the New York Mets due to an inner ear infection. Day was dizzy when he threw on the side on Wednesday, causing him to be pushed back.
The Nationals were not pleased with Day after he lost to Philadelphia in his last start. The 26-year-old right-hander allowed five runs and five hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 5-4 loss on April 25.
Day has issued nine walks over his last two starts.
“Zach has to understand that he has to throw the ball in the strike zone,” Washington manager Frank Robinson said. “He gets himself in a lot of problems by getting behind hitters and then not having the experience, I guess, or the command of his pitches to be able on a consistent basis to throw a strike when you need to throw a strike.”
The Nationals received some bad news during the game as left fielder Terrmel Sledge left in the sixth inning with a pulled right hamstring that will probably land him on the disabled list. Sledge slipped trying to run down a double off the bat of Hee Seop Choi and was eventually assisted by a trainer.