WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Tyler Clippard #36 talks with Jesus Flores #26 of the Washington Nationals in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park on September 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
• Johnson On Clippard: Tyler Clippard threw 18 pitches in the ninth inning last night, blowing the save and taking the loss in the Milwaukee Brewers' comeback win. After he exited the game, Davey Johnson told reporters this morning, the 27-year-old reliever took out some of his frustration behind the scenes. "He's fine," Johnson said, "I've kind of stayed away from him here. He trashed the downstairs after he came out. Very competitive young man. He doesn't like to give up anything. And everybody was disappointed we didn't get [Edwin] Jackson his 10th win, but nobody likes to have a rough outing."
Johnson, as he did last night, pointed to Norichika Aoki's bunt to start the inning as the big play of the game. "A guy with tremendous speed is going to steal [second]," Johnson explained, "And [Clippard's] worried about him stealing third, so he's rushing, and that set the whole inning back. Just that bunt." The Nationals' manager insisted he's not worried about Clippard. "He's going to be fine," the 69-year-old skipper said, "Although last I saw him last night he was watching video. Saw him this morning he was watching video. Talk about a glutton for punishment. I wouldn't be going there."
• Remaining Games: Asked if he had any plans to rest any of the Nats' players down the home stretch, Davey Johnson said that though he wants to get everyone going as the regular season winds down, "I'm not going to be resting anybody until we wrap this division. I'll be leaning on my regular lineup more than I would earlier."
• OF/Organizational Depth: The discussion in the Nats' manager's pregame press conference briefly turned to the way in which this year's team and the organization overall has been built over the last few seasons. In identifying one of the weak[er] spot in the Nationals' system, Johnson pointed to the outfield depth, which he said was improving faster than he expected. The Nats signed Werth and brought their 19-year-old no.1 overall pick up, but still, the Nats' skipper said, "We really didn't have much depth in the outfield. With [Bryce] Harper coming along quick... I'm putting first basemen and infielders in the outfield a la [Steve] Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore."
"But we've got a young crop coming," Johnson continued, "Eury Perez... they're actually a year ahead of [where] I thought they would be. Also we've got [Brian] Goodwin, who was a pick in [2011's] Draft. So I like all of the insurance parts except maybe the depth in starting pitching. We traded some of that away for Gio [Gonzalez]. I like, and it was very evident that I liked where we're at because we didn't do anything at the trading deadline."
The young players that are up now, the veteran of 13 MLB seasons as a player and 16 as a manager explained, are getting invaluable experience right now. "In this kind of situation, in a pennant [race], that's experience. That's the best experience you can get. And finishing up the year against clubs fighting for positions in the postseason. It don't get no better than that. You talk about getting some first class experience, this is it. Every day we're up against the other guy who's got something riding. And these last 12 games are real important. In not only winning and losing, but the development of the talent here."
• Nats Saturday Lineup: