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Critical week ahead?

Jun 4, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Associated Press

Any given week over the course of a baseball season can have lasting implications, but something about the upcoming week for the Nationals feels more significant than others.

It's not just the fact this team, now sitting a game under the .500 mark and seven games behind the Braves in the NL East, needs to go on a hot streak. It's also a convergence of decisions that must be made over the next week that could go a long way toward determining the Nats' long-term fate.

Let's start, though, with the actual games at hand. The Nationals play host to a six-game homestand, with a pair of sub-.500 teams coming to town in the Mets and Twins. Obviously, there are no sure things in baseball, but the Mets are a trainwreck (having just been swept by the even-worse Marlins) and won't have young ace Matt Harvey pitching in this series.

The Twins, meanwhile, have been hot lately in winning six of seven, but those all came against the Brewers and Mariners. Prior to that,Read more ยป

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 17.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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