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“They’re just reinforcing what we all believe,” Johnson said. “There’s still a lot of battles to go. We haven’t won nothing. But weve proven we can play with anybody we go up against.”

Added Zimmerman: “The best thing we have going is we understand it’s early. We’re not really taking this, I don’t know, over the top. … Hey, keep playing like were playing, but don’t get carried away.”


• Reliever Brad Lidge reported a series of exercises rotating his head helped clear up vertigo that bothered him earlier this week. The vertigo wasnt as intense as Lidge experienced previously, but it lasted for days instead of the usual hours. “When I’d wake up it was really bad, but by the end of the day it got a lot better,” Lidge said. “I’m glad it’s gone now. That’d be a pain in the butt to linger.”

• Utilityman Steve Lombardozzi started at shortstop Thursday to give Ian Desmond a “mental break.” Johnson, though, didn’t exactly rave about how Lombardozzi fields the position: “He’s adequate. … Ive had a lot worse out there.”

• Wang will throw three innings in his first rehab start Monday, Johnson said. However, Johnson wasn’t certain what affiliate Wang will pitch for.

Amanda Comak contributed to this report.