(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Davey Johnson does a segment with the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan every Wednesday morning, and the state of the Nats season has left the line of questioning a little repetitive. Usually, some variation of “What do we do now?” gets the conversation started, and this morning was no different when the radio hosts began by asking the Nats skipper how he stays so positive.

“I’m an optimist,” Johnson said. “When you get knocked to the ground, that’s your chance to get up and knock somebody else to the ground. Fortunately we avoided a whole bunch of knocking to the grounds last night.”

He’s referring to last night’s plunking of Bryce Harper, and played coy when the Junkies asked about possible retaliation.

“The way you retaliate, and guys get pumped up and Ryan Zimmerman almost did it, he almost hit one out,” Johnson replied. “That’s the way you fire back. You get up and you get a big hit and you bury him. It’s important to understand, too, that nothing you do right then is going to be any good other than strike back offensively and beat ‘em. But it’s planted in our minds that that was done on purpose and there are consequences.”

The radio hosts pressed him on whether they considered retaliation last night.

“It’s not the time,” Johnson said, refusing to bite. “We were under a warning. Once the warning’s out, you’re dead in the water.”

Johnson was asked about retaliation against the Braves in tonight’s game, and that’s when he finally laid down the first rule of Plunk Club.

“First of all, you don’t talk about this stuff,” he admonished. “Don’t you guys get it?

“Things even out,” he continued.

Johnson went on to say that he felt Harper handled the situation “pretty good,” but admitted that he killed any chance of retaliation last night. Hypothetical retaliation, of course.

“If you don’t do anything, don’t say anything, you can [even things up] in that ballgame,” Johnson said. “Once you start exchanging words, it’s over then. You gotta mind your Ps and Qs from then on.”

We should know pretty quickly tonight where the Ps and Qs will fall.