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Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 3 with Los Angeles Dodgers + Dusty Baker on tough series in LA...

Washington’s Nationals try to make it two straight in the second of three with the LA Dodgers in Chavez Ravine.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Not that they don’t take every series seriously, but Dusty Baker and the Washington Nationals were apparently really looking forward to getting a shot at the Los Angeles Dodgers this week.

Baker told reporters that Bryce Harper decided to serve his three-game suspension in the series finale in San Francisco and the first two of three with the A’s in Oakland so he would be available for the start of this week’s three-game set in LA.

“He didn’t want to miss the LA series, that’s why he took it here,” Baker explained while still in AT&T Park, “because he realized the importance of that cause I mean, hey man, they beat us last year in the playoffs and the way they’re playing now we’re going to need every hand on deck.”

The Nationals weren’t taking anything for granted going in, even after they won five of the first six games on the nine-game, three-city West Coast road trip.

“We know we’ve got a tough series here,” he said before last night’s win. “It’s been no secret for 40 years that they’re tough here in Dodger Stadium.

They’ve always been tough here in Dodger Stadium. So we just got to go play ball. We play ball the way that we can play and everybody will be alright.”

The Nationals win last night was their first in the Dodgers’ home since August 10th of 2015, snapping a five-game, regular season losing streak in Chavez Ravine, and he said afterwards that he knew the next two would be tough as well, with some good arms on the mound for both teams with Max Scherzer and Brandon McCarthy matched up tonight and Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw in tomorrow’s series finale.

“It’s going to be outstanding,” he said.

“McCarthy is throwing the ball well and then we’ve got Scherzer and then Stras the big getaway day, against their big boy over there, Kershaw. I urge everybody to come out and watch the game.”