Asked if he had spoken to Harper about his bad day, Johnson said: "We all spoke to him. We spoke to Harper and the umpires. We wanted to make sure that they knew it was just the frustration of the day building and he wasn't trying to show them up."Mission accomplished. There wasn't any carryover on Sunday. Against Yanks right-hander Ivan Nova, Harper cracked a third-inning double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field, and in the eighth, he hit a solid single to center. Both came with one out, but created no damage. The only run Nova gave up was on Adam LaRoche's 12th homer of the season. Johnson didn't want to discuss the substance of his talks with Harper, who also declined to comment on them. Suffice to say, it was a lesson learned. "All I know is I went 0-for-7 with five punches," Harper said. "It's just the game of baseball. I tried to do the best I could in the outfield. You just have to tip your cap to a veteran Hall of Famer on the bump." As far as the team is concerned, Johnson is looking for timelier hitting from everybody and better defense. On Saturday, the Yankees scored a run when second baseman Danny Espinosa couldn't make a clean pivot on a routine double play, and shortstop Ian Desmond followed by booting a ball for an error. On Sunday, New York's final run scored on a passed ball. The Nationals may be leading the NL East, but they're not yet the kind of team that can give extra outs and gift wrap runs for the Yankees. "I think it was a great experience for the ballclub," Johnson said about the weekend. "A full house, playing the Yankees. I mean, that's a quick way to get an education. I think we did all right. Harper bounced back. I kind of expected that. He's a pretty good hitter. It was nice to see him sting the ball. But we need to get some other guys swinging the bat. That's the issue."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less