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October 10, 2021

Dusty Baker

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Guaranteed Rate Field

Houston Astros

Postgame 3 Press Conference

Chicago, 12 - Houston, 6

Q. Dusty, can you take us through your decision-making process to pull Luis Garcia in the middle of the at-bat, and then you went to Yimi García right there?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, number one, he wasn't sharp. He had given up a two-out home run. He gave up a couple more hits, and we couldn't get Javy because usually we give him a whole inning to get loose. You know, Yimi gets hot, you know, the quickest out of the bullpen. He is the best that we had, you know, with runners inherited, and, you know, like, he is, García, according to the stats is a better hitter left-handed than right-handed, and so that's why we went to him because he wasn't sharp.

Like I said, Yimi gets quicker than anybody. You know, we had started him off with a 0-0 count, but he wasn't loose, and so when he threw the first ball, still wasn't loose, and then he threw the second ball, you know, we thought he had enough because he wasn't really sharp tonight.

Q. Dusty, what did you see on that play in the fourth with Grandal when it seemed like he got hit running to first base? Can you describe what you saw?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, that's what I saw too. And the umpire said once the ball is in play, you know, unless he does something intentional to interfere with the ball, but clearly, he was running inside. I mean, that's interference, you know, in itself. That was a big play because we didn't get an out. We didn't get -- they scored a run, and, you know, that was a big play in the inning.

I mean, shoot, they got six or seven ground ball hits that could have been a double play, any of them, and then they got the infield hit, which really started things. They got a number all night. They got a number of two-out -- not two-out. Two-strike hits. Grandal's was a two-strike hit, a home run, and it was just -- it was a bad series of events for us. The ball wasn't bouncing our way the second, third, or the eighth.

Q. Did the umpires give you an explanation why they didn't call interference and was that --

DUSTY BAKER: They gave me an explanation. I mean, you know, what good is an explanation at that point? You know? I was arguing the fact that especially him being a catcher, you know, he knows what he was doing. I mean, that was a smart play on his part, and that was the explanation that they gave me that they didn't see anything wrong with the play.

Q. Dusty, when you brought in Greinke, it seemed like he might be someone who could give you some length. Could he have kept going beyond the 21 pitches, or was that a matchup thing with the righties coming up?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, it was a combination of things. You know, like he hadn't gone any more than 40, and he was really good against the lefties. You know, like I said, a couple of freak plays. They had soft contact plays. Greinke, you know, he threw the ball well, and, you know, we thought that that was enough for the amount of workload that he has had on him recently.

Q. Dusty, what do you feel happened overall big picture in the third and fourth inning? You guys were up 5-1, and, obviously, that's a good team. It's a playoff game. It's on the road, but all of a sudden, it's 9-6, and that game got completely out of hand?

DUSTY BAKER: That's how things usually happen our way, and it happened their way, you know, tonight. Like I said, he had Luis with two strikes over there and ended up walking him. I mean, that was a big play. If we get him out, you know, Luis Robert, you know, he might have still been pitching, but he walks him and then all hell broke loose.

Q. Dusty, do you know who you'll start tomorrow, and what do you say to your guys after dropping this one?

DUSTY BAKER: No, I don't say anything to them. They know. They know the importance of tomorrow. They know the importance of today. These guys have been here many, many times. You know, we're starting Urquidy tomorrow.

Q. Dusty, what are your challenges against Rodón tomorrow?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, it all depends which Rodón is present. I mean, he -- according to our reports, you know, he hasn't been throwing quite as hard as he was before, but maybe the rest did him well. We'll see tomorrow. We'll see which Rodón that we'll be facing.

Q. Dusty, what did you see from you guys at-bats after the fourth inning? Obviously, we don't see you guys strike out a ton, but what did you see just overall from your at-bats?

DUSTY BAKER: What I saw was some quality pitching and some momentum, and the fans really got behind them, and, you know, I mean, it's no secret they have a real good bullpen. They have an excellent bullpen. You know, we got to Kopech. That's how you say his name? Yeah. I mean, we got to him, you know, pretty good, which usually most teams don't, but their bullpen, you know, they shut us down. We didn't score I think the last five innings.

Q. You mentioned momentum. How concerned are you about a game like this swinging the momentum and carrying over to the next day?

DUSTY BAKER: I'm not worried about it. The momentum goes day to day, and, you know, we've been in the game so long, you see one day you don't get any hits, and the next day you get all the hits that you want. You know, they got all the hits that they wanted today, and so we got to flush this one and come back tomorrow.

Q. Dusty, can you tell us more about what you've seen from Urquidy this year and also just how he has got the playoff experience as well and what you have seen from him in the past in playoff times?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah. I mean, I like -- the team feels comfortable and very confident playing behind Urquidy. You know, like, he is unphased. He was good down the stretch, so, you know, we got full confidence in Urquidy. He throws strikes. He throws near strikes. He changes speeds. This guy, you know, he can pitch, and we feel very comfortable playing behind him.

Q. Dusty, just curious, did you or Maldonado argue that it was intentional by Grandal? Did you try to make that argument?

DUSTY BAKER: I tried to make the argument that he did get in the way. I mean, he didn't throw his shoulder or elbow or anything like that. You know what I mean? I told them that that was similar to a play when I was in Washington that I think it was Javier Baez got in the way of -- touched Wieters, our catcher, on the third strike, and Wieters threw the ball away, and everybody scored, and that was very -- that's what I told the umpire. That was very, very similar to that play that we had in Washington that we came up on the short end as well.

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