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October 13, 2002

Dusty Baker


Q. Did you do anything different with your lineup today?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I just flip-flopped J.T. and Reggie Sanders like I usually do with a right-hander or a left-hander. Other than that, things are the same.

Q. What do you want to see from Kirk tomorrow; anything different from his start the other day?

DUSTY BAKER: I think he'll be better because he's more in a regimen every five days and his sinker should be better. His last couple of starts, he's been getting the ball up a little bit. But I think for a sinker ball pitcher, his arm is a little bit tired, the ball tends to sink better, much like Tom Glavine. Sometimes when you are too strong, the ball straightens out and you throw a little too hard. Kirk is a big-game pitcher and we love when Kirk is on the mound.

Q. What do you expect to see out of Matt Morris maybe now that some of the nerves are gone?

DUSTY BAKER: I'm not really worried about what we're going to see out of Morris, because, I mean, he can pitch. Everybody knows he can pitch. We've got a heck of a game. Hopefully we'll be up 3-1 when we get to him. But today's game is the most important game right now.

Q. What do you hope your players took from last night's game that they can apply to tonight?

DUSTY BAKER: Nothing more than we've been there before. Not to worry about it. You can't bring yesterday back. Main thing; just to go out and play, more than anything, forget yesterday and dwell on today.

Q. In a situation like in the ninth last night, would you like to see Barry expand the strike zone a little bit and take a crack at one of those pitches?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, if he expands the strike zone to where those balls were, what I saw, those balls were a foot outside. I don't care who you are, you can't hit a ball a foot outside. Put Barry on first base, down one run, those are low percentage pitches to get a run on. He did the right thing, tried to steal second base and Santiago got up behind him. In that situation, they are were not going to walk him intentionally, trying to tease him throwing him strikes and he didn't go for the tease.

Q. In a short series when you face a guy like Morris twice in just a few days, if he doesn't pitch well the first time, does that give you guys an edge in confidence the second time?

DUSTY BAKER: No, not really. Because every time you face him, it's going to be different. Every time you face him, there's a good chance that he can be sharp. Every time you face him the chances of him being sharper than last time are even greater. So it doesn't give you much edge. It just depends on how he throws the ball tomorrow.

Q. Lofton is hitless since the incident with the Cardinals. Is there any fallout that may have impacted his game?

DUSTY BAKER: No. I think it's just circumstance, actually. They have been pitching him tough. I don't think that incident has anything to do with it at all. It just appears to be so, possibly because of the timing of the situation versus what he's done. I've got a feeling today Kenny Lofton is going to have a big, big day today. It's hard to keep a big man down for too long and he's been down for a couple of games now. He's going to be big for us today.

Q. Are you leaning towards sitting Reggie tomorrow night against Morris or is that a decision you will make at that time?

DUSTY BAKER: I'll let you guys know that tomorrow.

Q. You've seen Andy Benes a lot, but apparently, he's throwing a little differently now after working with Matt Morris and coming back from the knee problems. Have you seen any tapes, have you gotten a good read on what he's like now?

DUSTY BAKER: We know he's throwing more splits and more changeups and he's always throwing the ball predominately away from the hitters, and his control has been good. Most of the tapes we've seen, he's gone five or six innings and then they go to somebody else. So, I don't know. He looks like the same quality Andy to me.

End of FastScripts...

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