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But as they opened play Tuesday nine games behind the Atlanta Braves — with six games against them in the next three weeks — the Nationals reiterated that what they need is for the players they already have to perform. Doing nothing at the deadline may reinforce that message, too.

“It’s not like you can point to one area or one person or whatever,” Johnson said. “Everybody’s capable of doing better than they have been doing and I’ve seen signs of it. It’s not just the offense. It’s pitching, it’s everything.

“We’ve seen signs of it the last few games but we just need to be consistent in every aspect of the game from here on out. We need to win series. That’s the key. We do that, things will work out.”