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There are two things the Nationals need most in order to get more across-the-board consistency from their rotation: Dan Haren to continue to perform the way he has since coming off the disabled list, and Ross Detwiler to be healthy. Those are two big “ifs” right now, though.

Will a significant move be made at the trade deadline?

A lot of how this storyline may play out is tied into the “ifs” noted about their starting pitching. To this point, the Nationals have been steadfast in their feeling that Detwiler and Haren are the guys to do the job and they expect them to be able to do it.

That, along with the fact that the Nationals have no desire to give up what it would take to get a rental such as Matt Garza, and one source said they are “lukewarm” on longer-term contract guys like Bud Norris, would fit with what general manager Mike Rizzo has said publicly to this point: He doesn’t see another “splashy” move in the future.

But they have two more weeks to evaluate their team and decide if they want to alter that line of thinking.

How will Davey Johnson‘s D.C. managerial career end?

At first it seemed Johnson was set to retire. Then, it became clear it was more of a mutual decision that this be his last season in the dugout — that the Lerner family wanted it to be and Johnson was fine with that. That left open the question: Is this his last season managing anywhere?

Maybe. Maybe not. But Johnson also wants badly to go out on top and bookend his career with another World Series title.

Johnson has spent the better part of the past 50 years in baseball, so regardless of the fact that his time with the Nationals is just a tiny part of that, how what could be his final season in the game ends is certainly worth watching.

Will the Nationals catch the Braves, hold off the Phillies and win the East?

The Nationals will open the second half Friday night sitting six games behind Atlanta and a half-game ahead of Philadelphia. They’re still within striking distance of first place in the division, but to get there they’ll need not only a cold stretch from the Braves but for it to coincide with their own prolonged run of success — which has been elusive this season.

They play only 24 of their final 67 games against teams currently over .500 and they play 36 of their final 67 games at home.

Baseball history, especially recently, is littered with World Series winners who were all but out of it at the break only to enjoy a steaming-hot second half. Could the Nationals follow suit?

We’ll find out.