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October 13, 2022

Dusty Baker

Houston, Texas, USA

Minute Maid Park

Houston Astros

Pregame 2 Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll open it up for Dusty.

Q. When you think back to what Jeremy PeƱa did in a that first ever postseason game for that rookie, what are your thoughts on Jeremy?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I mean, my thoughts are, you know, I talked to him, it's the same game, and I talked to him and just said, Hey, man, whoever relaxes the most, concentrates the most, is the most determined is the guy that's going to perform the best.

So when you get to this point you can either be a wide-eyed rookie or you can be sometimes a wide-eyed veteran that doesn't do any more than a rookie does.

Q. How much of Diaz's success against high velocity went into your decision today to start him against Castillo and what do you think overall of your team's success against high-velocity pitchers?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, that was most of the reason. He's one of the better high-velocity players, I think, not only on this team, but also in the game.

But this is a different scenario of high velocity. This is a high velocity with a tremendous amount of movement, and that high velocity with movement is a little bit tougher to hit.

Q. You mentioned the movement against the Blue Jays. He really did have a lot of movement. It was just blowing them away at times. They struggled to make contact. How do you, if you're a hitter, your approach, without giving too much away, how do you, do you try to wait until the last possible second? I mean, is there any answer for that or do you just have to be able to get a feel before it's even thrown?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I mean, as a hitter you're preparing to swing at every pitch until you decide that it's a ball. And at a hundred miles an hour if you wait until the last second to swing, it's already by you. There is no last second. You just try to hope that he comes over the plate, and if you get a pitch to hit, you hope you don't miss it.

Like I was told years ago by Roy Campanella, he says, you only hit one pitch at a time. You try to get a good pitch to hit, take a good whack at it, and don't miss it.

Q. Yordan's obviously been an impressive hitter since he entered the league but where have you seen him make the most progress from then until today?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I've had him the last three years. I saw him from afar. Just probably in his pitch selection and concentration and ability to use the whole field and not just be a slugger, to be a hitter with slugger's power.

Like I tried to tell kids, you got to be a hitter first and then you can learn to slug if it's in you. But no matter what you got to be a hitter first.

Q. What's made Abreu so tough on lefties this season?

DUSTY BAKER: I can't tell you that. Sorry.

Q. On the bullpen in general they allowed three base runners in the last five innings on Tuesday, which really kept you in the ball game. What is it like to have this type of embarrassment of riches? And you even deepened it with Hunter Brown and Christian Javier in the bullpen, at least for now.

DUSTY BAKER: Well, it might be embarrassment of riches to you. I'm glad I got 'em. Like Yogi Berra said years ago, if you don't have a bullpen, you don't have nothing. You got to have a bullpen. And the best teams that I've been on we had a bullpen. Because the biggest downer in baseball, to me, is a blown save when you're blown late. So I'm just glad that we have the guys that we have.

Q. You have a lot of aggressive but selective hitters in your lineup. How do you, what do you tell them as far as being aggressive but being selective as well?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't tell 'em anything. That comes through progression of time and knowing the opposition and who you're facing. It takes time to be under that controlled aggression. Most of the time, when you're young, you're either aggressive or passive. But I would rather take that aggressive person and try to make him a little bit passive and selective than I would a guy that takes all the time and try and make him aggressive. That's hard to do. When in doubt, like I tell my son, when in doubt, attack.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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