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October 3, 2002

Dusty Baker


Q. Are you surprised Javy Lopez was a success in the post season after a subpar regular season?

DUSTY BAKER: Not really. Javy's generally had pretty a good post season. The games that he's missed he's still strong. And, you know, swinging like he's in mid-season versus at the end of the season. So he's swinging the bat great, I mean he hit one out and he blooped one in there to start a rally for them. So, no, not really.

Q. Even though you'd rather be 2-0, how important is it to go home even, 1-1?

DUSTY BAKER: It's very important. It's a lot better than being 0-2. We're going home were we play well. We know that they play well here, as well as on the road, but these Braves are awfully tough to beat at home, so here at home. So we were hoping for two, but we are satisfied with one.

Q. What was the difference in what Kirk had tonight, as compared to the consistency that he had been showing in the regular season?

DUSTY BAKER: It appeared they had a pretty good game plan against Kirk. Earlier in the first go-around, it looked like they were taking the first pitch. Vinny Castilla and those guys, they came up swinging at the first pitch so they sort of changed their game plan in the middle and Kirk got some balls up, but the ball Javy hit, you know, was a pretty good pitch but it looked like his ball was not sinking as much as usual, and there were a couple of balls that even were cutting. I looked up on the board and he was throwing 87, 88 miles an hour, which is almost too hard for Kirk. So he might have been, you know, a little overamped early, and was throwing the ball really almost too hard, to sink for him.

Q. Your bullpen performed well tonight. Are you happy with that?

DUSTY BAKER: Yes, I'm happy with that. So did theirs. These are two -- the two premiere bullpens in the League, and any time you get in their bullpen or our bullpen, usually you don't get a whole bunch of runs. So I'm very happy with the way our bullpen performed tonight. When they came in, you know, they had a pretty big lead when they came in, so it made it a little tough on our offense at that time.

Q. Even though it didn't make a difference in the outcome, do you think it was important to score off of Smoltz for the future of the series?

DUSTY BAKER: Oh, I think so. Not only to score off John Smoltz, but also for Barry to hit a monster home run in the playoffs. Hopefully this will get him going and us going. He and Barry have had some tremendous matchups and hook-ups in the past. Barry swung the bat well against Smoltz, and any time you can score of a guy with the quality of Smoltz, it's definitely important.

Q. Have you been surprised they pitched to Bonds so consistently?

DUSTY BAKER: Not really. This is a quality pitching staff. You know they have had some pretty good success, some of the guy, against Barry, and some of them haven't, but they have pitched to them. They are throwing him quite a few fastballs inside and up. So I was glad to see Barry catch up to one of those fastballs inside.

Q. Do you think the fact that he got that home run will affect the fact whether they continue to pitch to him?

DUSTY BAKER: Probably not. They will stay with their game plan. We have tough Greg Maddux coming up. It all depends on the situation. If it's a situation where they can walk him, they probably will. If there's a situation that calls them to pitch to him, they probably will do that, too. It's just a matter of the score, the inning, you know, who is on base and everything goes into the equation, whether we pitch to him or not. Then the score, you know, that's a big factor in this.

End of FastScripts�.

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