Patterson will not start on Tuesday

Patterson scratched from Tuesday's start

NEW YORK -- Nationals right-hander John Patterson will not pitch against the Mets on Tuesday night because of a sinus infection and bronchitis that turned into a slight asthma attack.

Patterson said he is feeling better and expects to pitch on Friday night against the Padres at PETCO Park in San Diego.

Patterson, the co-ace of the pitching staff, started to feel ill after he woke up Thursday morning. His ailment turned out to be a sinus infection and it ended up affecting him on the mound that night. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits against the Marlins. Patterson struck out four and walked three. During the next three days, Patterson lost 10 pounds.

Patterson didn't pick up a baseball until Monday. He played catch with assistant athletic trainer Scott Lawrenson for 10 minutes and felt fine, according to Dr. Bruce Thomas, the team's primary care sports medicine physician.

Patterson will have a bullpen session on Tuesday at Shea Stadium.

"I want to be out there, but I have to get better. It's not a big deal," Patterson said.

In the meantime, the Nationals most likely will go with a bullpen-by-committee on Tuesday. The Nationals don't have a fourth or fifth starter to rely on because of shoulder injuries to right-handers Tony Armas Jr. and Ryan Drese.

The last time the Nationals went with a bullpen-by-committee was on Sunday against the Braves and the results, for the most part, were disastrous. Eight pitchers combined to give up nine runs.

The Nationals also could go with right-hander Esteban Loaiza, who has pitched on three days rest twice this season and came up with the winning pitcher both times.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.