Let's get this part out of the way first. The Nationals are not a playoff contender, not in the NL East, where the Phillies are likely going to run away and win 100 games, and with the Braves a solid possibility for the wild card.
But on the morning of June 23, the Nationals are a .500 team. They haven't been a .500 team over a full season since their first year in Washington (2005) and haven't had a winning season since they were the Montreal Expos in 2003. They're coming off five seasons in which they have lost 100 or more games twice and their "best" season was an 89-loss year in 2007.
Right now, though, manager Jim Riggleman's crew has a 37-37 record and a +9 run differential. They've won 10 of their last 11 games, have been getting solid starting pitching and have one of the National League's better closers in Drew Storen. With star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman now back from the DL and a Rookie of the Year candidate in second baseman Danny Espinosa (who leads all NL rookies with 13 HR and 45 RBI), can the Nats finish the year over .500, as they await the return of Stephen Strasburg and contention in 2012?