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Washington Nationals’ lineup for second of three with Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field...

Dusty Baker’s Nationals took the series opener from the Cubs in Chicago. Edwin Jackson starts the second of three in Wrigley...

Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

“We have to win,” Dusty Baker told reporters before the start of the Washington Nationals’ three-game set with the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field.

“We’re in a little bit better position than they are right now, cause if it ended right now, which it’s not gonna, Milwaukee is still a game and a half out, they’re still right on the Cubs. So, it’s important for them, and it’s important for us to get our guys back, cause we’re missing a lot of front line players, so our second line of defense, they’ve been playing very well, but you still want your front line players back.”

Jayson Werth is still working his way back. Trea Turner is on the mend, though still not close. Michael A. Taylor is rehabbing with High-A Potomac.

At some point in the “near” future, the Nationals could have their injured players back, but their manager is thinking about the long and short-term, including securing home field advantage in the postseason, provided they get there.

“It’s something I always think about, but it’s hard to convey that to the players at this point,” Baker said.

“I know as a manager what it means,” he continued, “cause I’ve been there before, for home field advantage, but right now we’ve just got take it one game at a time here.”

The Nationals took the series opener with the Cubs, 4-2, with Daniel Murphy homering twice and Tanner Roark and the new arms in Washington’s bullpen locking it down.

“To win the first game of the series puts you in a good position for the series which you always like to win, but we’ve got a tough game again tomorrow,” Baker said.

This afternoon in Wrigley Field, the Nationals take on Cubs’ starter John Lackey for the second time this season after they put nine hits and eight earned runs on the veteran right-hander back on June 28th in the nation’s capital.