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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

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Washington Nationals right-hander Dan Haren walks off the mound in the third inning of the Nationals' 11-3 loss to the New York Mets. (Associated Press photo)

Nationals get blown out by Mets in 11-3 loss

What to make of this Nationals team? Sunday will bring with it September and still they continue their maddening tapdance around the .500 mark, their playoff hopes resting within the slimmest of margin for error.

Davey Johnson talks Bryce Harper and more

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson was feeling much better on Saturday after retreating to the clubhouse in the fourth inning of the Nationals' loss to the Mets on Friday feeling lightheaded and dehydrated. Johnson got some fluids in him and a good night's sleep and was ready to go on Saturday.

Bryce Harper looks down the first base line during the Washington Nationals' 3-2 loss to the New York Mets. (Associated Press photo)

Bryce Harper draws criticism as Nationals' rally falls short

With the Nationals' mounting a potentially game-changing rally in the eighth inning, Bryce Harper, whose reputation is built on a penchant for playing the game harder than anyone else, smacked a sharp ground ball to second base. Despite all that hung in the balance of the Nationals’ 3-2 loss to the Mets, Harper jogged. He drew sharp criticism from bench coach Randy Knorr in the aftermath.

Ross Ohlendorf to start Sunday for Nationals

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson has expressed concerns about right-hander Ross Ohlendorf's stamina, but that aside the Nationals decided to go with Ohlendorf at least one more turn through their rotation. Ohlendorf will start Sunday night against the New York Mets on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

Nationals - Mets lineups: Taking on the Mets

The Washington Nationals will take their three-game winning streak into Friday's matchup against Dillon Gee and the New York Mets, hoping that they can continue to take advantage of a stretch in their schedule exclusively against losing teams.

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, left, celebrates his fourth-inning home run with shortstop Ian Desmond and the rest of his teammates in the Nationals' 9-0 victory over the Marlins. (Associated Press photo)

Nationals sweep Marlins, turns sights to stretch run

This is how it was supposed to be. Back in April it seemed a near certainty that six months of rolling good times -- of majestic home runs, starting pitchers posting zeroes, clean defense and victories -- were ahead. When the Washington Nationals began this season, sweeping the Miami Marlins much the way they did with a 9-0 demolition job on Thursday night, they figured there would’ve been plenty more stretches like the one they’re in now.

Nationals - Marlins lineups: Looking for the sweep

The Washington Nationals knew that in this 19-game stretch against the Marlins, Mets and Phillies, they had to do well. They'll be able to get through the first part of that stretch with a sweep if they can beat the Marlins on Thursday night.

Denard Span scored the game-winning run for the Nationals in their 4-3 victory over the Marlins on Wednesday night. They celebrated their seventh win in their last eight games. (Associated Press photo).

Nationals outlast rain, Marlins in latest victory

The Washington Nationals won again on Wednesday night. Two innings in, they lost their ace to a 72-minute rain delay. Six innings in, they lost their slim lead. But in this season in which so little has gone right, or at least they way so many expected for them, the Nationals may finally be hitting their stride.