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October 16, 2021

Dusty Baker

Houston, Texas, USA

Minute Maid Park

Houston Astros

Postgame 2 Press Conference

Red Sox - 9, Astros - 5

Q. What was the issue with GarcĂ­a, and how much did whatever he was going through with his foot sort of affect his pitching today?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I mean, probably a lot of effect on him. I think it was his push-off leg. He had a strain in his knee, and he is being evaluated by our doctors. And we could tell that something was wrong when Maldi called us out and said, hey, man, you know, he is having trouble with his push-off leg.

Q. Having to use Odorizzi today instead of maybe in Game 4 on Tuesday, what does this do for your pitching outlook moving forward?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, you know, we got to try to figure it out. Like I said, we've been trying to avoid using Odorizzi the first couple games. That's why we used everybody yesterday. We had planned on him being a Game 4 starter, but every time you make a plan, it's always followed by something, and today it was followed by the grand slam in the first. I don't know if I've ever seen a grand slam in the first and second.

We won the seventh, eighth, and ninth, but those two innings in the beginning, that's a tremendous mountain to climb. We had opportunities to get back in that ball game with the hitter, and our guys didn't quit, so now we're 1-1. We have to put this game behind us, and we're tied and going to Boston.

Q. Is there concern that GarcĂ­a may not be able to pitch this series, and you guys will have to replace him on the roster?

DUSTY BAKER: No. We're not there yet. Like I said, it came to our knowledge that this has kind of been bothering him a little bit on and off, but he hadn't said anything about it. It wasn't bothering him enough not to pitch. We'll make that determination in a couple of days.

Q. Your bullpen has been so good, but they've covered 14 1/3 innings these first two games. How sustainable is that if your starters keep exiting this early?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. We've called upon them a lot, but that's kind of modern baseball too. You know what I mean? You know, when guys aren't conditioned really in modern baseball six or seven innings, it does put pressure on you. We have a formidable guy that we are going to depend on and trust in Urquidy on, what, Monday? Then we'll go from there.

Q. How big was it for Odorizzi to come in and eat up those innings so you didn't have to go back to the bullpen in the first half of the game, and what did you think of his outing overall?

DUSTY BAKER: That was very important. Just in my experience, it seems like that first inning is always tough on a guy when he comes out of the bullpen. There's pressure in the stands to hurry up, and usually you get time to prepare if you know you're starting. You can do your stretching as you saw Odorizzi doing, get your mind right.

Like I told him, that's probably the toughest spot in baseball to be in to have to warm up out there in front of everybody and invariably you're going to say that, I'm ready. But I always tell our guys if they're in that situation, if you say you're ready, then throw five or six more pitches and try to be over-ready versus under-ready. But, like I said, that's one of the toughest positions to be in in baseball because everybody is restless. You can feel it in the air. The fans are restless, the players are restless. Most of the time you're not really ready, but you think you are.

Q. After watching these two games, you had offensive explosion in Game 1; Game 2 as well for them. You guys were able to come back and put up five runs. How evenly matched do you see these teams because they're both in their bullpens, they both have star power and offensive firepower, and 1-1 going back to Fenway with two battles?

DUSTY BAKER: We're very evenly matched. That's why we're here. That's why we're in the Final Four. These are two teams that don't quit. We got back in the game yesterday via the walk. They took the lead today. There's always some walks in there, and whenever that happens against an offensive team, then you're putting them in a position to possibly do some damage. They didn't come up with that saying, you know, walks will haunt, and they do haunt you, and they did.

Q. You talked about not quitting. Is there anything positive to be gleaned by the way y'all came back and kept coming at them and just come up short?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, you can always grab a positive out of there. It was nice to see Yuli get some hits and some RBIs. We made some good plays out there. Our bullpen did a good job, and so there's definitely some positives. Everything other than the score.

Q. After McCullers was rolled out for the series, you said your offense is just going to have to hit more to overcome it. If you end up losing GarcĂ­a for the duration of this series, what is your offense going to have to do to absorb another loss?

DUSTY BAKER: Do some more. You don't have much choice, you know, so we just have to do some more. That's all.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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