Kyle Lohse was nearly flawless during the month of June. He submitted a quality start in each of his first five outings.
Then, Mother Nature interfered.
A rain delay forced the Brewers' right-hander from his start on Sunday after only 1 2/3 innings, requiring manager Ron Roenicke to shuffle his rotation.
"It's the way things have gone this season," said Roenicke, whose club enters Wednesday's tilt with the Nationals at 33-49.
Lohse, who went 2-0 with a 2.34 ERA in June, will encounter a Washington squad that continues to switch between hot and cold. The Nationals scored 13 runs on Sunday and 10 runs on Monday. On Tuesday, they scored zero.
"One minute, we can't score a run," said outfielder Jayson Werth. "The next minute, we're scoring too many runs."
Manager Davey Johnson senses a more relaxed atmosphere in his team's clubhouse. He isn't overly concerned with the team's inconsistent offense.
"I think when a lot of guys are struggling, I think it puts pressure on each one of them, thinking, 'I'm the one who's dragging us down,'" Johnson said. "When everybody starts getting over that, 'Well, we've hit rock bottom, let's start relaxing and doing the things we're capable of doing.'
"I haven't really sensed a lot of tension in the clubhouse other than when you have a lot of young guys who aren't doing the things they're capable of, they're not real comfortable. But the only way to get around that is to get a bunch of hits."
Ross Detwiler (2-6, 4.13 ERA) will toe the rubber for Washington. The southpaw is 0-3 with a 7.15 ERA since his last victory, which came on May 10. The left-hander's health was in question after his back stiffened during his last start in New York on Friday, but he threw a bullpen session on Monday afternoon and said on Tuesday that he felt good.
Brewers: Peralta exits early
Wily Peralta left his start Tuesday in the sixth inning with a tight left hamstring. Peralta tossed 5 1/3 scoreless frames, allowing Washington only three hits and two walks. This season, Peralta has compiled a 5-9 record and 5.27 ERA across 18 starts.
Nationals: Harper impresses, doesn't surprise
Outfielder Bryce Harper homered in his first at-bat Monday since returning from the disabled list. Don't color Johnson surprised.
"I saw him when he was 15 years old hit a ball 500 feet," Johnson said. "Of course, that was an aluminum bat in [St. Petersburg], but his first big league camp he hit .390 in the spring. ... He's just got a lot of talent and he likes expressing it. He likes the moment."
• Lohse is 4-2 with a 5.23 ERA in 14 career outings (12 starts) against the Nationals, but sports a 1-1 mark and 7.47 ERA when pitching in Washington.
• The Nationals have been shut out nine times this season.