(Patrick Semansky/AP)

The question concerned the unprecedented level of expectations surrounding these Nats, and how Johnson’s youthful players would handle it.

“Well, you know, it’s a young team still, and last year we didn’t have any veteran presence on the ballclub,” Johnson said. “But as a baseball man, I look at the potential, the upside of everybody. If we just play to our potential — we don’t have to play over it. If guys start doing things I know they’re capable of doing, I think we can win the pennant.”

The pennant, huh? Like, go to the World Series? While never having had a winning record? That goes one step beyond “we should make the playoffs. There’s no doubt in my mind,” which is what Johnson said last month.

(Audio here. Via Federal Baseball.)