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Nationals struggling on defense out of the gate


NEW YORK -- After 18 games, the Nationals rank 30th in the Major Leagues in defense, and that was after making three errors against the Mets in a 2-0 loss on Sunday afternoon. Last year, the Nationals were in the top 10 in defense.

Left fielder Bryce Harper made one of the errors Sunday and was asked why the defense has struggled so far this year.

"I have no comment on that one," he said.

However, manager Davey Johnson doesn't seem to be worried about how his players are playing on defense. For now, there are no plans to go back to the drawing board to clean things up.

Johnson mentioned that he saw former Orioles teammate Brooks Robinson struggle defensively in a game, but didn't worry about Robinson, who is arguably the greatest defensive third baseman to play the game.

"I have all the confidence in the world in our defense," Johnson said. "We have a lot of talented guys out there. For whatever reason, sometimes, you make errors. I saw Brooks Robinson make three errors in one ballgame. Did I worry about it? No. We are just a little out of sync. We'll get there."

Asked if the high expectations were getting to the players, Johnson said: "I don't think so. Errors are part of this game . It always has been, it always will be. But I wouldn't trade in my guys for anybody."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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