Tonight, the Nationals begin a nine-game road trip that will take them to Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Miami. Sitting a game and half back of Atlanta, I can’t help but feel that this string of games away from Nationals Park will be quite telling of the team’s prospects for taking the NL East crown. Even after they return home, they still have to finish their 15 straight games against NL East foes, squaring off against Atlanta (again) and New York. However, for a squad that has been decidedly better at home (15-8) than on the road (9-9), the Nats are going to have to first have to show that they can win big games on the road. Anything less than five wins has to be seen as a harbinger of tougher days ahead in the race to the top of the division.