5 Key Factors That Will Determine Championship or Bust for the 2013 Nationals

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5 Key Factors That Will Determine Championship or Bust for the 2013 Nationals
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals were kicked out of the postseason after a Game 5 letdown in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals. As a result, manager Davey Johnson has adopted a "World Series or bust" motto for the 2013 season—his last as a manager.

Had Drew Storen not blown the ninth-inning lead in the NLDS, we may be talking about the Nationals as the World Champs.

They had the best record in baseball in 2012, and also had arguably the most complete team. Strong starting pitching, (almost) infallible bullpen and above-average hitting led the balanced attack in the team's first winning season in history.

This season should see much of the same success.

Any holes that existed (however small) were filled by general manager Mike Rizzo, and the experienced gained from making the postseason should be an immeasurable benefit to the team.

There's a distinct possibility that the Nationals can fulfill Johnson's goals in 2013, but only if a few factors fall in Washington's favor.

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