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“You take nothing for granted in this game,” Johnson said, irritated by the play and the fact that neither player, nor third base coach Bo Porter, picked up an umpire in time to see that they’d ruled it a double from the start. “My two veteran players took it for granted that the ball was out. … You can’t do that. You just can’t do it.”

If anything, their weekend debacle could serve as a launching pad for their next assault on their upcoming opponents. Between the end of their last four-game losing streak and the start of this one, the Nationals went 39-23. But they know they cannot lose focus. They know they cannot panic. They still have 35 games left.

“We could very easily have won any one of those games,” Werth said. “I don’t think there’s any panic or anything.”