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Dusty Baker wants the injured Washington Nationals back: “I believe in the cavalry.”

“I think in this scenario we all got to think positive that these guys will be back, like I said, like the cavalry, right on time.” - Dusty Baker on getting injured Nationals back.

San Francisco Giants v Washington Nationals - Game 2 Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hours after the Washington Nationals learned that Bryce Harper’s injured left knee was not as bad as originally feared, and after the Nats reinstated Michael A. Taylor from the DL, it happened again.

Brian Goodwin reached base on an infield single Sunday afternoon, stole second, but tweaked something on the way to second base, and after he scored on a home run by Anthony Rendon, he was replaced in the outfield by Taylor.

“He just had a little tightness in his leg, in the groin” Dusty Baker told reporters when asked about Goodwin after the Nationals’ loss.

“We didn’t want to take any chances. So, they’re working on him now, they’re going to evaluate it. It’s getting tough, I’m glad we got bodies and quality players.”

And a seemingly endless supply. With the all injuries they’ve had, the Nationals have had players from within and outside of the organization come on and step up.

“Whoever we’re plugging in, we expect them to do the job,” Baker said, “and they’re looking for opportunities. They’ve gotten many opportunities and they’ve handled them very well, so thank God we got an off day tomorrow and we can mend some and then toward the end of the month -- end of next month, we play a whole bunch of games in consecutive days, but we’ve got to hold on until we can expand the roster.”

Goodwin’s injury is just the latest to hit the Nationals’ outfield.

In the second half of the doubleheader on Sunday, Baker penciled recently-acquired utility man Howie Kendrick in in left, Taylor in center, and rookie outfielder Andrew Stevenson in right field.

“‘Next man up,’ I know it sounds corny, but that’s how it’s been,” Baker said.

“Nobody is going to feel sorry for you, so whoever we put out there we expect them to give it their best and they have and [Jayson] Werth — slowly but surely, hopefully we got Michael back today, and hopefully nothing else happens and then we expect and hope to get Werth and [Trea] Turner back in a couple weeks, we’re unsure about Koda Glover, and so he’s progressing, so it will be like getting a whole new fresh team down the stretch if things go right.

“That’s why I just believe in the bottom of my heart that some of this is already written,” Baker explained, “that some of these guys are going to show up like the cavalry, right on time, and be fresh down the stretch drive and be a lot fresher hopefully than the teams we will be playing once the postseason starts.

“That’s big. Miles on your body, you don’t get them back. Once you’re tired at the end of the season, everybody is tired, but I’m hoping that we will be fresher than most, because of the time that they missed and because of the injuries, they’re never pleasant, but you can find the silver lining in the fact that they will be back fresh, it’s just a matter of them coming back in time to regain their sharpness.”

The talk of getting healthy players back for the stretch run is something fans in the nation’s capital have heard before. Will Werth, who hasn’t played since June 3rd, and hasn’t started a rehab assignment yet, be able to get his timing back? Turner hasn’t been in the lineup since June 29th. Will they get up to speed and contribute during the stretch run and (hopefully) postseason?

Baker said he just wants an opportunity to see what his team can accomplish at full strength.

“You look at last year, it happened at the latter part of the season, which we never got — like [Wilson] Ramos and [Stephen] Strasburg back. I’d have liked to have seen what we’d have done had we had those guys back. But injuries are part of the game, you don’t like it, nobody gives you any excuses for it, they don’t play any less hard against you, but I think in this scenario we all got to think positive that these guys will be back, like I said, like the cavalry, right on time. From watching all the war movies and cowboy movies, I believe in the cavalry.”