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He called on Ryan Mattheus in the seventh inning and placed him in a nearly impossible situation — bases-loaded with no outs; the second-year reliever responded by retiring the side on two pitches.

“I said we need a couple of ground balls here to get out of this,” Johnson said. “And he did it.”

One game won’t determine which team advances, and the stakes only increase with each game. Win or lose, the Nats have only one more game of postseason experience than they had when they woke up Sunday.

But knowing that Johnson is on the bench could be just the edge they need to overcome any yips.