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October 10, 2016

Dusty Baker

Los Angeles, California - Postgame 3

Nationals - 8

Dodgers - 3

Q. With the offensive explosion that you had late in the game and you're one game away from moving on, is it almost like you can hardly wait to get back out there?
DUSTY BAKER: No, we can wait, because we need some rest. But you know, it was -- I mean, that was big, because we exploded, I think, in the third, and then we didn't explode again until the ninth, or the eighth. And it was like, boy, we were wondering, like, man, we've got to score some more here, because this game is close and they have so much firepower over there, especially a one-run game. And the fans are excited here, and behind them, and the Dodgers are tough to beat here.

And so, you know, we really, really, really needed those runs. That was a big home run that Jayson hit; not only big, but long. And then we got a couple more runs, some walks, and you know, Zimm almost hit that ball out of right field, and it's great to see him swinging the bat the way he is, and our bullpen did an outstanding job.

Q. Other than outstanding, I guess, how would you describe what the bullpen was able to do today, and really, has done all series?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, I tell you, the bullpen was awesome. You know, all the guys contributed. Sammy Solis got the win, but he did an outstanding job. What a job that Kelley did for us. I mean, he went through the heart of the order and that's the best we've seen him in a while, but he was well rested. I don't think he pitched in seven or eight days, and you know, he was our most rested pitcher in the bullpen. I tell you, he got some outstanding hitters out today.

Q. Were you surprised when they brought in Jansen for the ninth?
DUSTY BAKER: No, because they were trying to keep the game where it was. And they only had one more pitcher, which is Stripling, and he was the long man in case they had tied it up, because you know, he's a starter by trade. So no, I wasn't surprised.

I was a bit surprised that they used their third catcher after they used Barnes, and when Chooch tied up the game -- I mean, not tied up; when he brought it within one run. I didn't think that they were going to him that early, because if the catcher gets hurt, then have to try to figure out who is going to catch for him. But I did the same thing, but later in the game.

You know, it's a cat-and-mouse game, and you know, Chooch won that one.

Q. Solis was a guy who missed a month of action, and then he comes back, and has been awesome for you. Could you talk about what he's done since he came back? And also, how was Gio and why did you take him out early?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, I didn't take him out early. He took himself out early, you know (laughter). Gio, he was getting behind hitters. You know, he got behind Chooch on that 3-1 fastball, made a mistake, threw it right down the middle and he lost it into the left field seats. His pitch count wasn't that high for him, but the way they were swinging and the good swings that they were having and how they were hitting the ball, you know, that was plenty.

We certainly didn't want to lose that lead, and to get to Solis, he was outstanding. He got behind a little bit, and then I sent Mike out to just like call a 20-second time out to take kind of the crowd out of the game, because it happened so quickly. Reminds me of basketball where you have to just call a 20-second time out to take the crowd out of the game, because this crowd was getting -- they were getting excited, and I don't want my young pitcher to get excited as they were getting excited.

Q. In that fifth inning when you took Gio out, there were two defensive plays with Murphy and Zimmerman that were really close at first base?

Q. And pretty acrobatic by Zimm.

Q. And just any thoughts on whether they looked safe or out to you?
DUSTY BAKER: No, I mean they looked out, but it's hard to tell with the naked eye as he's coming off the bag to get the ball. You know, they didn't challenge it.

I tell you, I mean, that's a tough play on a first baseman, when the second baseman is so close, he has to put some mustard on it. You know, he's going one way and trying to throw back the other way, it's kind of like a roll-out quarterback going the opposite way, going to his left.

Yeah, that was a tough play for Murph and an outstanding play by Zimm. I mean, Zimm's an outstanding first baseman. This guy can do some amazing things over there.

Q. And that came before the home run.
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, that came before the home run. Had anybody gotten -- had one of those two hitters got on base, we were going to go get Solis. But they kind of had me in a crossfire, because they had one more left-handed hitter, but they had a whole bunch -- if I bring in somebody to pitch to Chooch, they had four left-handed hitters and a couple of them have some tremendous power.

You look at Ethier and Reddick, you've sort of got to pick your poison in that situation.

Q. Without the travel day, you've still had to go to the bullpen early and often, but you haven't been reluctant to do that, have you?
DUSTY BAKER: You have to try to win these games, and the guys, nobody's complaining. We check on the health of the bullpen every day. And you know, this team can hit the ball out of the ballpark. The Dodgers can hit the ball; they live by the home run almost.

Yeah, you've got to go to the bullpen and hope that the match-ups work. They don't always work, but you've just got to take your chances and figure the odds of whoever you're bringing in.

Q. Who is starting tomorrow?
DUSTY BAKER: We haven't decided yet. Mike and I were just talking about that. It's probably between, you know, Lopez and Ross. So we haven't really decided yet.

Who's starting for them?

Q. They said the same thing. Does their decision have any impact on you?

Q. In terms of your pitcher or how you prep or anything?
DUSTY BAKER: No. We're not playing gamesmanship or whatever you call it. No, I mean, we just haven't decided. If we had decided, it doesn't really make any difference. You've got to tell them at some time sooner or later, and so no, we haven't decided yet.

Q. (No microphone) with the bullpen used a lot?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, maybe. Maybe. But we've got some candidates, some guys that are still available tomorrow. You know, you need some left-handers against these guys. Probably Perez is available. He pitched short. And how do you say his name, is it Rzepczynski? We just call him Z. (Laughter).

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