Jun 18, 2013, 10:53 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — If the Nationals are going to snap out of their season-long malaise that has left them hovering right around the .500 mark for the better part of 2 1/2 months, it’s going to require a collective loosening up by players who might just be too tightly wound at the moment.
Manager Davey Johnson, after meeting with shortstop Ian Desmond this afternoon, said he wants his team to be looser, not putting so much pressure on itself to live up to the club’s lofty preseason expectations.
“I was talking to Desi a little earlier, and he felt like the club was not as loose as it was last year,” Johnson said. “It’s trying to be loose. Well, I said, we’re young. We’re awfully young. We’ve got some young guys on the bench. It’s a situation where they have to go through the experience. That’s part of it. But I think we’ll be fine. Learn to just play loose, free and easy, and the offense will pick up.”
Johnson specifically mentioned the younger players on his roster who burst onto the scene last season but have struggled to produce at the same level this season.
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