Stephen Strasburg has had two of his best starts of the season this month, but he has also had one of his worst.
In outings against the Phillies on Aug. 3 and the Mets on Aug. 14, Strasburg combined for 14 innings and 18 strikeouts while allowing only one unearned run on six hits.
But in between those two outings, he faced Atlanta -- a team Washington leads by six games in the National League East -- on the road and gave up seven runs in five innings in a 7-6 Nationals loss.
The one thing that has been consistent for Strasburg in those three outings were his strikeout numbers -- he struck out eight or more in all three starts.
On the other side of the country, Strasburg's opponent Tuesday, rookie Chase Anderson, is in the midst of his hottest streak of the season.
In his last six starts, Anderson is only 2-0 but has an ERA of just 2.19. Although he isn't a strikeout pitcher, Anderson is averaging nearly a strikeout per inning.
The problem Anderson has had, however, is high early pitch counts. He's pitched well, but long early innings have limited him to only six innings in five of his last six starts.
Nationals: Zimmerman no closer to returning
There is still no timetable for third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to return to the Nationals' lineup.
Zimmerman, who suffered a Grade 3 hamstring strain on July 22, has not restarted baseball activities yet and has only worked out on an underwater treadmill.
"There is no exact timetable. It's hard to put concrete dates on anything, because you just don't know. You are starting to feel better and that is a good sign," Zimmerman said. "I've been doing a few rehab things. There's really nothing you can do right now."
The 29-year-old Zimmerman was hitting .282 with an .802 on-base-plus-slugging percentage through 53 games before he suffered his hamstring injury.
D-backs: Trumbo struggling at first
Although his bat has been coming around lately, Mark Trumbo has struggled to fill the shoes -- or rather, glove -- of Paul Goldschmidt at first base.
The 28-year-old Trumbo has committed two errors in 11 games at first base so far this season, while committing only 18 in 299 games throughout his career prior to this season.
"I don't think in the past he's had any problem," manager Kirk Gibson said. "I don't know if the dome [in Miami] had anything to do with it. Where the throws were, they all seemed to be kind of low. We might work with his positioning so he can have a better opportunity to catch the low throws, should it go down there."
Gibson did suggest, however, that the 6-foot-4 Trumbo's height may be part of the issue.
"He's a tall guy. Maybe he's standing up a little more than normal," Gibson said. "The other thing is, his glove, his target, is high. Maybe we'll move it down a little bit, spot it down. Any place you're at on defense, you can get a bad hop or get a low throw or high throw. You try to put yourself in the best position you can to be able to react and catch it."
• The D-backs recalled reliever Will Harris from Triple-A Reno and optioned pitcher Bradin Hagens to Reno.
• The Nationals signed veteran outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a Minor League contract on Monday.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.