Earning his first career National League Pitcher of the Month Award on Thursday, Zimmermann was close to flawless in July, going 4-0 with a Major-League-best 0.97 ERA. He allowed either one or zero earned runs in each of his six starts, while striking out 31 and walking just four.
Zimmermann will get his first start of August on Saturday at Nationals Park against the Marlins, after his turn was pushed back a day because of mild inflammation in his right shoulder.
"He certainly deserved the award," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said on Thursday. "I talked to him, and he said he felt great. He said it feels like he's throwing through a brick wall, so that's good news. He should be good to go."
Against the Brewers last Saturday in Milwaukee, the right-hander allowed just one run on five hits in six innings of work for the win, his 11th straight quality start and 19th overall on the season.
Miami left-hander Mark Buehrle will look to follow Zimmerman's lead as he tries to bounce back from his previous outing and go for his 10th win of the season.
If Buehrle can get to double-digit victories on Saturday, it would mark his 12th straight season with at least 10 victories, tying CC Sabathia of the Yankees for the longest active streak.
Not pitching deeper than five innings in his last three starts, the left-hander went 4 1/3 innings against the Braves on Monday, allowing six runs on eight hits for the loss.
"Three consecutive for me, going out in five innings, it's really not acceptable," Buehrle said after his last start. "I'm just falling behind too much and having to make pitches in tough spots. I'm in hitters' counts a lot. It's just one of those little stretches I'm in right now."
Marlins: Reyes extends hitting streak to 22 games
With a first-inning bunt single in the second game of Friday's doubleheader, shortstop Jose Reyes' hitting streak moved to 22 games. It's the longest active streak in the Majors.
The 22-game hitting streak marks Reyes' career high, with his previous best streak set from July 17-Aug. 7, 2005, 20 games as a member of the Mets.
"I feel good at home plate," the four-time All-Star said. "I feel like every time I put a swing on the ball, it's a good swing. That's good. I've been consistent, that's something I missed in the first half of the season, to just be consistent on a daily basis."
Giancarlo Stanton continues his rehab assignment at Class A Jupiter, and the plan remains for him to be reinstated off the disabled list on Tuesday, when the club is in New York to play the Mets. The All-Star right fielder had his right knee scoped on July 8 to remove cartilage chips.
Nationals: Suzuki heads to DC
The Nationals and A's exchanged catchers on Friday, with Oakland dealing big league veteran Kurt Suzuki to Washington for Minor Leaguer David Freitas.
Suzuki is hitting .218 with a .536 OPS and one home run this season, his sixth with the A's. But the 28-year-old leads qualified American League catchers with a .996 fielding percentage and a 38.3 caught-stealing percentage.
The deal adds some much-needed catching depth to the Nationals roster, which lost starter Wilson Ramos for the season.
"He's one of the best catch-throw defensive catchers in the game," said general manager Mike Rizzo, who scouted Suzuki out of Cal State Fullerton. "We feel that his upside with the bat is going to be good. He's hot right now. He hit very well in July, so we think we're getting a hot hitter that can handle the staff, and a guy who's in the Gold Glove conversation each and every year he's been a Major Leaguer."
The Nationals are right in the middle of a stretch of 35 games in 34 days, thanks to two home doubleheaders. Washington's next off-day comes Aug. 16.
Marlins reliever Chris Hatcher was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on Friday, as lefty reliever Dan Jennings was optioned to New Orleans.