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The Nationals: America's Team?

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist
ATLANTA -- Didn't take Nationals manager Davey Johnson long to size up a tough part of the schedule that has the Nationals moving from a prime-time Sunday night game here into a Memorial Day matinee in Miami.

"We'll be on our 'A' game," Johnson said following the Nationals' 7-2 win over the Braves here Sunday night. "[Monday] will be a little tough, getting in at 3 a.m."

Pause.

"That's what happens when you become a popular team," he continued, referring to Sunday night's nationally televised game. "They want you on the air."

The Nationals are in the midst of playing 15 consecutive games against NL East rivals and are off to an impressive start. They took two of three from the Phillies before sweeping the Braves in three here this weekend. They play three in Miami before heading home to play the Braves for three more and then the Mets in a three-game set.

"We've been playing well," shortstop Ian Desmond said. "It's been fun."

Johnson, who summoned Sean Burnett in relief of Craig Stammen to get the final out with two Braves on base in the ninth Sunday, did not minimize sweeping the Braves.

"Aside from Philadelphia, they've been the dominant team in the NL East," Johnson said. "I wasn't taking any chances."
 
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