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Situational hitting suffered, too, with first-pitch outs by Danny Espinosa and Jayson Werth that didn’t suffice to move runners over.

Johnson thinks that problem will disappear when Ryan Zimmerman, whose 0-for-4 day dropped his average to .179, returns to form.

“Once he gets warmed up, all this will be academic,” Johnson said. “The makeup on this ballclub is to want to do it so bad to get overly aggressive.”

Nothing was academic Sunday for the Nationals. And the mistakes left Clippard in the shadows as the baseball and the ballgame got away.