When Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg is on, he is nearly unhittable. In his past four starts, the right-hander has been on. He is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. During that span of 26 1/3 innings, he has fanned 31 batters.
Washington hopes to see more of the same out of their young ace as he toes the rubber opposite Diamondbacks hurler Bronson Arroyo. Arizona hopes to fare much better against the Strasburg than the Dodgers did last Wednesday.
Strasburg's strong stretch appeared to be in jeopardy when he gave up two runs against Los Angeles in the first inning of that start. However, two runs from the Nationals in the bottom half of the frame reinvigorated the right-hander.
"I tried to stay to the game plan. I have given up a few hits," Strasburg said after the game. "For the most part, they were ground balls. That's kind of how baseball is sometimes. It's great to see the offense answer back there and give it back to me. It was basically a zero-zero ballgame. I kind of started over after the first."
Strasburg proved so energized, he threw 114 pitches. Washington manager Matt Williams left his starter in the game even though he entered the eighth with 108 pitches, something the skipper hopes to continue doing in the future.
"He is our horse," Williams said. "He is a guy that could go 120 [pitches]. I don't want him to do that every time, but in a game like today, he has the lead. I want to show confidence. I'm going to send him back out there to protect that lead. He pitched well."
Strasburg will face another right-hander in top form in Arroyo, who enjoyed arguably the best start of his career against the Brewers on May 7. He, too, pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up one unearned run on five hits.
As Arroyo aims to continue his success, history is on his side. He has allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his 12 career starts against the Nationals.
But even if Arroyo is not successful, the veteran's effort will be there.
"He does so many things well," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said following Arroyo's stellar outing. "One of the things he talked to our team about when he first arrived in Spring Training was being able to take care of the things you have to take care of during the course of a game. There was the double play in the sixth that he got over to first base. That's not an easy play, but he was over there early, got squared, and got himself out of the inning.
"That's why the guy wins. The way he throws, but he does all the little things well."
Nationals: Moore proves his worth playing every day
• With Adam LaRoche on the disabled list because of a quad injury for at least two weeks, Tyler Moore will be the everyday first baseman. It's Moore's chance to show that he can hit big league pitching.
In Monday night's game against the D-backs, for example, Moore hit a solo home run against right-hander Josh Collmenter in a 6-5 Nationals victory.
Last season, Moore struggled coming off the bench and was sent down to the Minor Leagues to work on his skills. When he came back to the big leagues, Moore hit .344 in his final 61 at-bats.
D-backs: Home is where the heartache is
• Arizona is 12-10 on the road and 3-14 at Chase Field this season. Arizona entered Monday with the second-worst home ERA in the Majors at 5.36. On the road, it's 4.35.
"We just have to keep the same attitude and play the same way we do on the road," Gibson said. "It's a good feel. I know there is a lot of focus on the negative that has happened here, but this team has not bought into it. I've been very proud of them for doing that."
• Brad Ziegler is riding a scoreless streak of 18 1/3 innings in 19 games, the longest active scoreless run in the Majors. It's the second-longest streak for Ziegler, who also boasts a 38-inning stretch over 29 games from May 31-Aug. 12, 2008.
• Gerardo Parra owns a 10-game hitting streak.
• Miguel Montero has hit safely in 18 of his past 22 games, while reaching base safely in 20 of those contests.
• The Nats have 11 come-from-behind victories this season.
• The Nationals are 9-3 when they score first in the first inning.
• The Nationals are 13-4 when they play error-free baseball.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.