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October 27, 2002

Dusty Baker


MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Dusty Baker.

Q. Just wondering how much you wrestled with Livan versus Rueter to start today? Also the decision on when to take Livan out?

DUSTY BAKER: We didn't wrestle with that decision that was because Kirk was going on three days' and Livan was on his regular days. Kirk gave us all he had in those four innings. I don't know how much further he could have gone. Livan was strong, could have gone nine innings. I mean, you saw at the end, Kirk, he gave us all he had. To start the game, you know, our bullpen's spent, we feel we did the right thing going with Livan. As far as taking him out of the game, we had to keep that game intact. That's about as far as we could have gone with him. I was hoping we could have gotten out of that bases-loaded situation. We hit Salmon to load the bases. Really wasn't enough time to get a regular starter out, got Zerbe up, gave Kirk that half an inning to get loose. They usually take 10 to 15 minutes to get loose as starters.

Q. Did you ever imagine in your wildest imagination that five runs would decide a game like this with the pitching staffs being in the condition they were?

DUSTY BAKER: No. That's why we thought we had action on coming back. We were only threatened a couple innings there. There wasn't a lot of hitting going on in this game, which is contrary to the other games. You know, never imagined that would be enough runs to win.

Q. Given that there wasn't a lot of hitting in this game, is it a game you'll remember the fly balls that went to the wall but didn't go over, David Bell leading off that inning, but Erstad makes the catch, those little things?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, that was a big play by Erstad. That could have gotten us rolling, top of the order coming up shortly thereafter. We did hit some near home runs, quite a few near home runs. The air was heavier tonight. The ball wasn't going like it had in the previous games in this series. The game I'll probably remember most is Game 6 when we had a 5-0 lead. That's it.

Q. How impressed were you with John Lackey, a rookie pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his career, giving them at least five innings?

DUSTY BAKER: I was very impressed with that. We didn't really have him on the ropes that much. I kept watching his pitch count. I knew they were going to go to that bullpen soon. We were hoping we could get to the bullpen earlier than we did because his pitch count was getting up there pretty quickly. Like I said, I knew they were going to go to the bullpen. Especially when he gave him that fifth, that really sort of got them in the flow of Donnelly for two, Rodriquez, then Percival.

Q. Can you talk about the emotion that's running through you now? It's tough enough to lose a Game 7, but with your son there, possibility this is the end of the road for you with the Giants. It's got to be very difficult for you right now.

DUSTY BAKER: Well, it is a difficult time right now. Your heart is heavy, your stomach is empty. You know, your head and your brains feel full right now. It's a very difficult time. It's going to be very difficult to go back to the hotel and hear people hollering and screaming out there for Anaheim. On the other hand, I'm happy for Scios and Blacky and Roenicke, Alfredo, the guys on the Angels over there. I just wish it was us.

Q. In retrospect, did momentum -- losing that lead yesterday, did that have any affect on the team?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't think so. I don't think it had an effect on the team. I think it had an effect on the fans here. I think it had an effect on the fans, their enthusiasm going into today's game. I mean, they were loud. You still hear them out there loud. You can barely hear yourself talk, more or less talking to somebody else. You know, you have to commend them for being into it.

Q. If you were to leave, looking back on this season, pushing this team to Game 7, coming so close, do you feel like what you accomplished, this would be a good way to leave a job, if it were to come to that?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. I understand your question. I mean, it's only been a short period of time since we just lost. You know, there hasn't been time really to think about those kind of things. See you guys next year.

End of FastScripts.

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