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Washington Nationals in 2014?

Things didn't go according to plan for the Washington Nationals in 2013. Expected to be one of the best teams in the majors, the Nats struggled so much early that their late playoff push fell short. But it's hard to deny the talent in the nation's capital, with Stephen Strasburg -- who shined in his spring debut Tuesday -- and Jordan Zimmermann leading the rotation and Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth among the team's impressive hitters. Will Washington stay healthy and bounce back under new manager Matt Williams?

What type of season are you expecting out of Stephen Strasburg in 2014?

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    15%
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    41%
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    36%
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    8%

Discuss (Total votes: 44,458)

  • What type of season are you expecting from Bryce Harper in 2014?

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      21%
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      54%
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      20%
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      5%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,911)

  • How many games will the Nationals (86-76 in 2013) win in 2014?

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      11%
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      43%
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      37%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,840)

  • How will the Nationals fare in 2014?

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      22%
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      56%
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      22%

    Discuss (Total votes: 36,052)

  • Will the Nationals win a World Series with their current core?

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      40%
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      60%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,387)

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Harper, Strasburg and the Nationals

Washington Nationals star pitcher Stephen Strasburg <a href="http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9385258">is set to return to the mound Sunday</a>, after spending time on the DL with a lat strain. Meanwhile, standout outfielder Bryce Harper got good news from Dr. James Andrews on his ailing knee and could be back next week. This, of course, is good news for the Nats, who entered the season as a popular World Series pick but who enter Friday at just 33-32, 5.5 games out of both the NL East lead and a wild-card spot. As for fans, they'll be watching closely to see if their two biggest names can remain on the field.

Who is more important to the Nationals?

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    61%
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    39%

Discuss (Total votes: 8,359)

  • Will injuries keep Stephen Strasburg from reaching his potential?

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      81%
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      19%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,753)

  • Who should be considered the Nationals' ace?

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      30%
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      70%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,768)

  • Will the Nationals make the playoffs in 2013?

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      50%
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      50%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,551)

  • Which team has been most disappointing in 2013?

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      52%
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      14%
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      23%
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      11%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,623)

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The word of the day is "Natitude." The buzz around the Washington Nationals was at a fever pitch as their two phenoms -- Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg -- delivered in a big way Monday against the Marlins. Harper became the youngest player in the live-ball era to hit two home runs on Opening Day, while Strasburg gave up a leadoff single then sat down the next 19 Marlins in a row. Which young star impressed you more? Cast your votes!


No clownin' around

Bryce Harper is "on pace" for 324 home runs. He'll probably cool down considerably from that, but the 20-year-old is still primed for a big season.

SportsNation

How many home runs will Bryce Harper hit in 2013?

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    21%
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    56%
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    16%
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    7%

Discuss (Total votes: 54,796)


Dynamic duo

The Nationals won 2-0 on Opening Day, with Bryce Harper providing the offense and Stephen Strasburg handling most of the pitching.

SportsNation

Which Nationals player had the more impressive performance on Opening Day?

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    45%
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    55%

Discuss (Total votes: 97,112)

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video

 

The Nationals said they would shut down right-hander Stephen Strasburg for the season once he reached about 160 innings. They made good on their word Saturday, ending Strasburg's season a day after he allowed five runs in a three-inning start against the Marlins. Washington maintained all along they would protect their 24-year-old in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, even as the first-place Nats closed in on the playoffs. But manager Davey Johnson said the mental side of the impending shutdown was affecting Strasburg the most. Did the Nationals make the right decision?

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