Important Next Nine Games Ahead for Washington Nationals

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

There are points in every team’s regular season that are defining moments. I think that the Washington Nationals are at one of those points as they begin a series this week against the Atlanta Braves.

The Nationals will be starting Stephen Strasburg on Monday night. Strasburg is just 1-4 on the season as Washington sits with a 13-12 record. He needs to find a way to get a victory for this Washington team, especially against a division rival.

The Nationals offense has been non-existent in large part to open the year, hitting just .237 as a team through 25 games. It is very disappointing to think about where this team would be without the strong start of Bryce Harper. The team should feel very lucky that they are just 2.5 games out of first place in the National League East.

This is a night where Strasburg must prove he is the ace of this staff and be the shutdown pitcher he has been touted to be.

The nine-game stretch will be tough for the Nationals as they take on the Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates before coming home to face the Detroit Tigers. It is quite possible that the Nationals will be back under the .500 mark by the time they get through the next nine games.

The expectations on this team are looking very unwarranted right now, but the Nationals just won three of four games over the weekend and can turn things around quickly. It is a very important next stretch of games for Washington if they want to get back to the top of the division.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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