After Ryan Zimmerman said last night he planned to play today, the Nationals' star third baseman remains out of the lineup for a second straight day with stiffness in his lower back. Zimmerman said there is a "99.99 percent" chance he returns tomorrow, but tonight Chad Tracy will play third baseman and hit third.

Zimmerman could have played, but he also welcomed the day off during a stretch in which the Nationals, because of doubleheaders, will play 34 games in 34 days.

"Nobody wants time off," Zimmerman said. "This month is the hardest of all months, especially with the schedule we've had lately and that we're going too have coming up. The doubleheaders and the games are starting to add up in August. Everyone is going to have some bumps and bruises. For Davey to be able to kind of give us, me, [Adam LaRoche], some of the guys that are banged up, a day or two here and there makes it a lot easier to get through September."