Both products of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are two of the best young pitchers in baseball, and they're proving it so far this season.
The young guns will go toe to toe on Thursday afternoon when the Nationals try to sweep away the visiting D-backs at Nationals Park.
While Strasburg comes into the duel just 4-6 on the season, his other numbers show a different story. The right-hander boasts a 2.40 ERA in 2013, but has received the worst run support in the Majors at 2.64 runs per game. At this point last year with a similar ERA at 2.46, Strasburg was 9-1.
The 24-year-old won his last time out, limiting the Rockies to just one run on five hits over seven innings on Friday.
"As a competitor, you want to go out there and win every time," Strasburg said after the game. "Sometimes, it's not going to work out that way, but the big thing is that you have to go out there with the same mentality every time out, regardless of what's happened in the past."
During the outing, Strasburg was stretching in the seventh inning, and pitching coach Steve McCatty was worried the righty had re-injured the oblique that landed him on the disabled list earlier this season. Strasburg didn't sound pleased that Washington continues to be extremely careful with him, saying after the game, "I'm not a kid anymore."
As for Corbin, even though he is 9-0, he hasn't won since June 2 against the Cubs. It's not that the lefty has pitched poorly in the interim, he has just been getting unlucky.
In his last start, Corbin surrendered just one run on three hits over eight innings vs. the high-powered Reds' offense, only to see closer Heath Bell give up the lead in the ninth.
"Honestly, I don't really look at it too much," Corbin said about his record. "Everybody keeps saying, 'Get the 10th win,' but I'm trying to get every win, no matter what win it is."
If Corbin does find a way to earn a victory on Thursday, he'll become the first pitcher in franchise history to begin a season 10-0. He faces an uphill climb, though, as no D-backs starter has won a game since June 5, a span of 18 games.
Washington: Garcia needs more time
• Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that injured pitcher Christian Garcia will need four or five more outings before returning to the Nationals' bullpen. While the right forearm that landed Garcia on the 60-day DL is feeling OK, Garcia has recently been dealing with shoulder issues, according to Johnson.
"He had a little fatigue in his shoulder, maybe from sometimes when you've got something else bothering you, you use something else more," Johnson said. "His velocity is still not quite where it was last year."
• The Nationals are excited to get Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos back, which would give them a big lift at the time other contending clubs begin to make deals near the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"We would like to see a big left-handed bat. His name is Harper and he is on the horizon," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "And we would like to get a hitting catcher named Ramos. He is on the horizon. And [we really want to] gauge and see what a fully healthy lineup looks like. Two of our main cogs have been out for an extended period. We haven't had our lineup together since April 14. So we are getting players more and more healthy."
D-backs: Bell working to right his ship
Bell said he has worked out the mechanical issue that has led to a rash of home runs allowed.
Bell has allowed seven runs in four innings over his last five outings. The right-hander allowed a homer in each of those appearances.
"I fixed it last Sunday," Bell said. "It was really something very simple. It's one of those things sometimes a coach sees you do something that you don't feel yourself doing or see yourself doing. Then you correct it. And as soon as you do, it's like, 'Why wasn't I doing this before?'"
• Gerardo Parra's nine outfield assists for Arizona are tied for most in the Majors with Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez.
• Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche saw his 19-game hitting streak at home come to an end on Wednesday.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.