MILWAUKEE -- Drew Storen threw a scoreless seventh inning in Friday night's 6-0 loss to the Brewers, and he looked a lot more like, well, Drew Storen.
The right-hander allowed a leadoff single, then retired the next three batters he faced -- Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez -- and showed off the arsenal that helped him save 43 games in 2011. It was Storen's fifth appearance of the season and just his second full inning, but he looked and felt like he was getting back to where he should be following right-elbow surgery in April.
"Storen was outstanding," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He looked like where he was at last year."
"That's a good test for me. I felt really good," added Storen. "I felt like I could command my pitches. The slider's getting there.
"Facing a full inning and facing those hitters, that's a part of the process. I told myself that's a tie ballgame, so it's about putting yourself in that situation. Against those guys, it's a good thing for me."
Storen's fastball velocity was up a tick from where it had been, but he said that wasn't a product of him gaining strength so much as the "explosion" out of his hand, which he got back while still commanding the pitch with some movement. The same goes for his sharper slider, though he said that was more a result of him feeling comfortable back in a game situation.
"It's a feel thing, really. It's learning to pitch in that sixth gear, that extra gear that you don't get anywhere else," Storen said. "As much as you want to work on things in the bullpen or throw them before the game, the only way you really get that feel for that and get the slider that made me effective last year is to do that.
"I've seen improvement the last two times out there, and I expect to do the same the next time I'm out there."
Harper scratched on Saturday with stomach virus
MILWAUKEE -- Bryce Harper was scratched from Saturday night's starting lineup and sat out the game due to a stomach virus that's left him dizzy and unable to keep food down since Thursday night.
He was in manager Davey Johnson's lineup Saturday, but was scratched shortly before the game after feeling dizzy and lightheaded during batting practice. Johnson said the doctor told him it could be the beginning or end of a virus, but Harper said he was able to keep his food down on Saturday.
"I felt fine. The doctor came in and I've just got the bug or something, so they just took me out," Harper said after Saturday's 4-1 win over the Brewers at Miller Park. "I don't know. I was kind of [upset] about it."
Harper said he was throwing up until 2 a.m. on Thursday night. He played Friday, but said he was vomiting during that game and stayed up until 1 a.m. doing much of the same.
"Just not feeling well at all," Harper said. "I feel like my head's spinning every day and just not feeling well."
Johnson said Harper would "more than likely" play in Sunday's series finale in Milwaukee, and Harper agreed.
"I still feel a little jittery and whatnot," Harper said. "I'll be in there [Sunday]."
Tracy further along in rehab than Werth
MILWAUKEE -- There had been some talk of outfielder Jayson Werth joining the Nationals when they return to Washington on Tuesday, but it's looking more likely that they'll have Chad Tracy waiting for them.
Tracy and Werth continued their rehab assignments with Triple-A Syracuse on Friday night and are scheduled to play Saturday night. Tracy played seven innings at third base, while Werth manned right field for six innings. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Werth reported back that his hand was "a little tender."
"Tracy's probably farther along than Jayson," Johnson said. "I think there's a chance Chad Tracy will be ready when we get back home."
It doesn't appear that Werth will be ready quite as soon, though he still figures to return in early August. Johnson said Werth's return date is essentially up to him because the veteran outfielder knows his body and health better than anybody else. Johnson wasn't concerned about whether Werth is hitting in the Minors, but rather if he feels well enough to play defense and take a full game's worth of at-bats.
"If he feels like he's ready for that, then we'll have him back," Johnson said. "No matter what we're doing here, you want to make sure that he's up to speed so that he's not going to get hurt. It's always more about injury, for me, than performance down there."