THE MODERATOR: Questions for Dusty Baker.
Q. Everybody's going to talk about the heroics of Tim Salmon, but how big was Francisco Rodriguez?
DUSTY BAKER: He was big. He shut us down, first time we'd seen him. He threw the ball excellent. We've been hearing he had good stuff, but that was the first time we really saw him in person. For a young pitcher, he throws a lot of strikes, quality strikes. He had a good fastball. Everybody knew he had a good slider. So that was big, on him coming in. How many innings did he go? Three? That's a pretty good stint for a young man.
Q. They came out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning, then you guys came back. How important was it that you stayed close, because you did most of the game, you were back and forth?
DUSTY BAKER: You could tell that was going to be an offensive night, the way the ball was carrying and also the way both sides were hitting. Just appeared to be one of those nights where whoever had the last at-bat was going to win, them before us. It was big. It was a big three-run homer that Reggie Sanders hit. Three-run homer gets you back in the game or puts you out of reach. Like you said, we kept going back and forth, back and forth. That was one of the best games I've ever been in. We just came up on the short end of things. But that was a tremendous ball game on both sides.
Q. Talk about Erstad's at-bat right before the home run, and how that may or may not have fit into the equation of him wearing down Rodriguez?
DUSTY BAKER: He had a good at-bat. That's why I sent Rags out to check on him, see if he was okay. He said he was okay, he was still throwing the ball good, good velocity. Got a ball up and out of the plate. Felix did a great job for us tonight, planned on bringing in Worrell in that situation. But Salmon, in his career, hit Worrell pretty good. In his career, Salmon is 4 for 8 off of him. Felix had enough fastball to get by Salmon, usually Salmon hits the ball down better than up. He hit a ball up and I give him credit for it. He hit it.
Q. What was up with Russ tonight? Was he nervous at all? Just didn't have his stuff? Also, could you address not only the home runs tonight, but the home runs so far in this series.
DUSTY BAKER: Well, I don't know if Russ was nervous, he's a calm young man. Just got to give them credit for doing some hitting. They were hitting him early in the count. They were going first to third on us. They just -- bats were hot. Everybody knows they can hit. I don't know if that's Russ' fault or if it's to their credit. You've seen this club hot before, and they came out hot. I don't know why so many home runs are hit, but the guys are concentrating I think better, and if you make any mistake, the concentration level is so high that the guys usually make a good pass on the ball. The ball was flying out of here tonight.
Q. With both offenses being as productive as they were tonight, what mindset do you take back to Pac Bell now?
DUSTY BAKER: We take the same mindset we came in here. You always want to split on the road. It would have been nice to go home 2-0, but the mindset we take is we're going home, we have three games at home. We play very, very well at home. We do have a bit of an advantage with the pitchers, our pitchers are used to hitting and bunting. Now we're going back to play National League ball.
Q. You already talked about, just a second ago, that you're somewhat satisfied getting the split down here, which is the bottom line.
DUSTY BAKER: I didn't say I was satisfied.
Q. Somewhat satisfied.
DUSTY BAKER: Okay.
Q. Can I ask you, because you at least got the split here, are you able to appreciate the type of game this was tonight? It featured great comebacks by great teams.
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, I can appreciate it. This is the kind of games we see on TV with the DH. This is more of an American League game. I don't really anticipate 11-10 in our ballpark or this many runs scored. The ball doesn't carry and go out of the park in our park like it does here. You appreciate it. This is what the World Series is all about.
Q. Action-packed game today; last night, too. If this goes seven, is there enough energy to go seven games?
DUSTY BAKER: You got to find some energy somewhere. Everybody's running on adrenaline right now. If this goes to seven games, the way these games have been played, this is going to be as exciting as a World Series as it was last year with the Yankees and Diamondbacks. Fortunately, for both sides, and our pitching staff, that we do have tomorrow off.
Q. What was your assessment of Zerbe's performance, especially since he's a rookie?
DUSTY BAKER: Zerbe's performance was huge. We were hoping he could get the win. He came in, gave us some quality innings, got out quality hitters. For a young man that's basically a rookie in his first World Series appearance, I thought he did an outstanding job.
End of FastScripts...