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October 12, 2021

Dusty Baker

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Guaranteed Rate Field

Houston Astros

Pregame 4 Press Conference

Q. Dusty, is Urquidy available out of the bullpen today?


Q. Do you have Game 5 pitching plans, or is it going to kind of be dictated on if you need it today?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, it's going to be dictated on what we need today, and hopefully we don't need it.

Q. Will Valdez be in the bullpen today?

DUSTY BAKER: Probably not. But, you know, again, don't quote me. The game is going to dictate a lot of this.

Q. What's your ideal use of Greinke at this point? You know, you brought him into mid-inning last time, but if things are going well, where is the spot where you think you would use him?

DUSTY BAKER: I would like to use him, hopefully, you know, to start off an inning, you know, to go one to probably two innings. Depends on, you know, which hitters are up there, you know, where we are in the lineup and where we are in the spot of the game. We have all these matchups, and so I like to match them up with who he appears to match up best against.

Q. As far as scripting goes, every manager has a plan going in and thought process, but how often does the script in your mind ever match what you see out on that field, and how much of the gut do you have to use, maybe even more in playoffs than you do during the regular season?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, everything is scripted, you know. Everything is scripted from start to finish, but very rarely does the script just follow itself. You know, during the game, things could be going just perfectly, and then all of a sudden, a couple walks, a couple of errors, base hit, a blooper, ground ball.

Where you have to kind of change the script, and so, you know, it's -- everybody has a script. It's just that the game sometimes and the situation changes the script. You know, the opposition has a lot to do with changing your script.

Q. Do you often feel when you watch or when you manage playoff games that it's more gut than anything else? The numbers is always better, but is it more gut in the playoffs than it is at any other time?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah. I mean, it's a combination. You have to -- I've always used numbers since I started. It just didn't have the -- it just didn't have the names that are on the numbers now. I mean, I've always used numbers, but, again, you have to try to -- I mean, sometimes the numbers are going to be wrong, but you can't go with straight gut because sometimes your gut is going to be wrong. And you're only right or wrong if your guys do the job or their guys over there do a different job. You know what I mean?

That's the thing about managing is that, you know, there's no 100%. There are no absolutes about anything because there's too many people involved in the outcome of the act. And so, you know, does a blooper mean you didn't do it, or does a line drive out mean that you did do it? So that's why -- that's the interesting part and why we play the game.

Q. Dusty, the other side of the bracket, the Division Series is complete. Wondering if you were locked in on that game last night, and just your thoughts on the opportunity ahead for either one of these teams knowing that the Red Sox are next?

DUSTY BAKER: You wish you were in that position yourself, but you have action on getting into that position. I wasn't really locked on it. I was following the score and, you know, it was 5-1 and 5-3. Actually my wife was more locked on it than me because she's better on her phone than I am, you know, picking up scores.

I kind of felt that Boston might win it. I've been in both sides where sometimes when you play, play, play and keep on playing with no off days, you tend to be sharper. And so, again, I wasn't locked on it. I was really locked on my stone crabs from Joe's Stone Crabs really. You know what I mean? That's what I was really locked on. Sure was good.

Q. You guys are obviously one win away from a fifth straight ALCS, but compared to other organizations you've been in, what do you think this one -- like why is this one in this position and why is this one -- you have already done so well, and not to lead you, but would it be maybe something to do with that core talented group of players?

DUSTY BAKER: I wasn't here the whole time, but don't forget these guys lost 100 games a couple years in the row too. And they kept the nucleus together. And when young players go through a tough time and lose some games for a long time, I mean, that don't like that taste in their mouth of losing, and then once they start winning, they don't ever want to return to that time and space where they were before. And then you add -- you keep the nucleus, and then you add players and add players.

You know, I don't necessarily believe that there's that window to win because then when that window -- when you think it's over, you tend to get rid of all the players and start all over again, and the fans really don't deserve that or really like that. So I think they've done a great job in deleting some pieces that they couldn't hold on to and adding some other pieces.

You have to depend on your Minor Leagues. You have to depend on free agents. You have to depend on, you know, your scouting and making proper trades and all these things go into hopefully staying on top for a while.

Q. Dusty, when you look at this White Sox lineup and kind of what they've done in this series, is there one guy that stands out to you where, you know, if you think if we shut this guy down, we've positioned ourselves really well to win a game?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah. There's always a couple of guys that you don't want them to hurt you, but, you know, they got a good lineup. You know, it's kind of like sticking your finger in a dike. You might stop Luis Robert and then here's Abreu and then you stop those two.

Similar to our lineup, you know, you stop those two, and then who would have thought GarcĂ­a was going to hit a ball out dead center field that was going to be the big blow of the game? They got a good lineup, and here comes Moncada and, you know, you take Sheets and then Sheets and then Vaughn might hurt you. Yeah, they got -- they can hit, so offhand, you really got to stop probably -- the first time I've seen Luis Robert. He can -- he is a dangerous man.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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