The Washington Times - April 6, 2011, 08:44AM

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — For the first time this season, the Nationals will have the ability to come back immediately after a loss and make it a distant memory.

The Nationals had scheduled off days after their first two losses of the season, giving them extra time to sit and simmer. But today they have the opportunity to do something about last night’s brutal 3-2 extra innings loss to the Marlins. They’ll have to do it against Marlins right-hander Chris Volstad, who was 4-0 last season against Washington.


The Nationals will counter with Livan Hernandez, who delivered a signature performance on Opening Day, holding the Braves to just two early runs but getting the loss as the Nationals were shut out by the Braves.

Here’s a look at how the Nationals’ projected lineup has done against Volstad in the past:

Danny Espinosa: Never faced

Jayson Werth: .050 AVG in 20 at-bats, .050 OBP, .050 SLG, 7 K

Ryan Zimmerman: .619 AVG in 21 at-bats, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .619 OBP, 1.000 SLG, 3 K

Adam LaRoche: .500 AVG in 6 at-bats, 1 RBI, .500 OBP, .500 SLG, 2 K

Michael Morse: .429 AVG in 7 at-bats, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .500 OBP, .429 SLG, 2 K

Rick Ankiel: .143 AVG in 7 at-bats, 1 3B, 1 BB, .250 OBP, .429 SLG, 1 K

Ian Desmond: .500 AVG in 12 at-bats, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, .500 OBP, .833 SLG, 1 K

Ivan Rodriguez: .385 AVG in 13 at-bats, 6 RBI, .357 OBP, .385 SLG

Livan Hernandez: Never faced

As you can see the Nationals have had a decent amount of success against Volstad, especially Zimmerman, who was 1-for-2 with three walks in Tuesday night’s loss. The key tonight may be Espinosa hitting leadoff.

This season, the Nationals’ leadoff hitters are a combined 0-for-17 with a walk — a stat made even more glaring by the fact that Werth and Zimmerman are a combined 9-for-26 (.326) with five extra base hits and seven walks. Werth has yet to drive in a run as a member of the Nationals.

This is Volstad’s first start of the season and he’s 5-1 in nine career starts against Washington but has allowed 30 earned in 47 1/3 innings.