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October 12, 2002

Dusty Baker


Q. You have two pitchers going today and tomorrow who have proven that they can pitch well in the post-season. How difficult is it to block out all of the extra stuff, the media and everything, and do well in the post-season?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, it's difficult to do prior to the game because we have so much to do, interview room and different interviews and people from out of town want to hear about your team that have not been around much. But actually, the fun part is when the game starts. I've always said that; that, you know, the real fun begins when the National Anthem is sung. So we just look forward to after the introductions and the National Anthem so we can just play ball.

Q. Benito has gotten a lot of credit for what he's been doing offensively, but can you talk about what he's been doing for the pitching staff, in terms of helping them mature and become better pitchers?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, his knowledge and experience adds a lot. The name of the game is pitching. Like with Jason Schmidt, he only shook him off two times in the game out of 115 pitches. So that means our pitchers trust what he calls. That's big when a pitcher doesn't have to shake off much, he can just get the ball, throw it, get the ball and throw it, and have complete confidence and conviction in what he's throwing. Not only has Benito helped our pitching staff in pitch selection and game calling, but he's really put Torrealba on an accelerated program, because it's difficult for a catcher to come into this league; he has a lot to think about and worry about. As much as anything, he's probably accelerated him probably two or three years ahead of schedule, as far as the learning process.

Q. You talked yesterday about the supporting cast around Bonds and Kent. Do you think they have elevated their games for the playoffs?

DUSTY BAKER: I think everybody has a tendency to elevate their game in the playoffs. You're concentrating more on every pitch. You concentrate more on the field. You're concentrating more on your execution of your fundamentals. I think everybody elevates their game in the playoffs because there's so much more at stake in realizing that one play or one pitch or one hit can alter a course of an entire ballgame.

End of FastScripts�.

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