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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



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