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October 7, 2017

Dusty Baker

Washington, D.C. - postgame 2

Nationals - 6, Cubs - 3

Q. Two hits last night and all of a sudden a five-run inning. How much did you need that? This offense has done this a lot this year?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, we needed it a lot. I was kind of bewildered because it's not too many teams or pitchers that have held us in check like that for a couple days. I just knew in the bottom of my heart that we were going to explode for some numbers, which we've done all year.

Boy, the guys had some quality, quality at-bats. You know, Anthony got on, Murph, and -- well, before that, even you know, we knew Harp was due. He's known for the big moment. Man, he blasted that ball a ton. You know, he hung a breaking ball and that's what you're supposed to do with it.

We played good defense. Boy, it was a good game to watch. It was a good game to manage, and especially the fact that we came out on top and tied the series 1-1 now.

Q. Can one big inning like that carry over into Game 3?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, you know, it's a daily game. But this is a game of momentum. We're off tomorrow. You know, we take a rest tonight and then go back at them on Monday, and we've got Scherz going, which we feel very confident about, and Tanner. Yeah, we feel very confident after tonight's game.

Q. You just mentioned the momentum. How much can just that one swing from Bryce, getting the crowd back involved, tying that game; how much can one swing like that -- obviously more goes into this series, but just a play like that, wake up the team and get the momentum back on your side?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, certainly can wake up the team. It woke up the fans. They were loud. This is the loudest group of fans that I've seen. You know, they are into it from the opening pitch, and Gio kept them in it.

You know, tied it up on a homer, and I knew the ball was flying tonight. I didn't think Anthony's homer was going to leave the park, and I really wasn't sure about Zimm's and I wasn't sure about Contreras. On a warm night it carries good here, and when it's cold, it doesn't.

Q. What was the energy like in the dugout, when you're getting shut down like that and you're not used to getting shut down like that? Did the guys feel like there was one blast in them?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, yeah, the guys were definitely up, but when you've got the young dudes in the dugout waving towels -- the older guys, we don't do that. The younger guys, like I said, from Spring Training, the young players give energy to the older players, and the older players hopefully give them wisdom and knowledge. So it's a good combination that we have going on here.

Q. It's Adam's first career Postseason at-bat and he delivers for you in that fashion. Pretty unassuming guy, but you talk about Bryce in the moment. How critical was that for him?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, that was critical. The team, you know, it's the eighth inning and they want to get that first out. You know, I've been looking for a situation and a spot to get Lind in the game because he's saved us many, many times, and he's one of the best pinch-hitters around. You know, that was big. That was big to put the pitcher in the stretch right away, you know, versus him being in the windup, and he's a quality pitcher.

You know, I think the crowd, you know, might have rattled him some. I think they might have rattled Lester in that one inning when he couldn't find the plate, which is not like him. So we know we're going into a similar situation and a similar place when we go into Chicago.

Q. What's it like just to see Zimm in that spot come up the way he did? He's had obviously a great year, but going against that team.
DUSTY BAKER: Well, hey, man, you know, it couldn't happen to a finer guy, number one. And he's a franchise guy here. Bryce is coming on strong. But it's great to have Zimm come through in those situations, because he's been known to come through for years and years, you know, especially late in the game like that. You could tell he was psyched, and the fans are psyched; everybody was psyched except probably Chicago people.

Q. Before the game, you were asked when you would know that Bryce was back. He had been struggling since he came back from the knee thing. Is he back now?
DUSTY BAKER: He's on the way. You know, he's not quite back. Like I said, he hung a slider to him, and he deposited it in the upper deck. Hopefully that's the beginning. Like I said, the longer that we play, the better Bryce will be because each pitch he sees, that's leading towards him getting his timing back.

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