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Though his record is still an un-Strasburg-like 3-5, his form lately has been much more like the guy who made the 2012 All-Star team. His earned run average is down to 2.49, second only to Jordan Zimmermann among Nats’ starters. He’s up to 71 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings.

“My fastball command has gotten better as the season has gone on and I’ve gotten more comfortable out of the stretch,” Strasburg said. “It’s all about making adjustments. Sometimes you’re not going to start the year where you want to be. It’s all about how you end the season.”

Harper, meanwhile, missed four games after running into the outfield wall in Los Angeles on May 13. He said Sunday he thinks his left knee will bother him some all season. Johnson was adamant about Harper’s sliding style.

“When you keep sliding head-first and your knee takes the full brunt really, that’s a problem,” Johnson said.

Harper was as adamant that it wasn’t a problem.

“I don’t know the difference between sliding head-first and sliding feet-first,” he said. “It just depends on the situation and which way I want to slide to the bag. If I slid feet-first right now, my knee might pop and not be good.

“I’m going to feel it either way, it doesn’t matter. I don’t think [feet-first] is going to help anything. It probably won’t get better until the offseason, so I have to deal with the pain and try to keep in there every day and we’ll see what happens.”

He was much more succinct when he was asked if he expected to miss a few days.

“No,” Harper said.