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Even as silence pervaded their clubhouse and players quietly dressed and left, required to be back there for a 1:05 p.m. game Saturday, it was a different frustration than in years past. One loss doesn’t change the Nationals’ stature, regardless of how hyped a game it might have been.

“We’re feeling great about where we’re at, obviously,” Lidge said, his own outing (three earned runs while recording one out) lamentable for the inches that separated effective from inefficient. “I think tonight, maybe, we were a little flat.

“We did such a good job on the road trip that we’re expecting to win every single game — and that’s great. That’s the expectations you want. But I think we just had one of those nights. A lot of ground balls just kind of fell in. Hits that weren’t really hit well dropped in. As a result of that, they scored some runs. You have to tip your hat to them sometimes, too.”