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October 5, 2000

Dusty Baker


Q. Just your thoughts about the quick turnaround, how everything happened there at the end.

DUSTY BAKER: It was a heck of a turnaround in a short period of time. A lot happened. We went a long ways, many innings in the game without anything happening, and then all of a sudden they had a two-run homer to put it four to one. And Barry started off, and Jeff got on, and J.T. made a dramatic turnaround homerun to tie up the game. And at that point, it appeared we were going to win the game. And then Benitez got out of that inning, and then we had two outs in the 10th. And the difference in the game is that they got a number -- I think all their runs were scored with two outs, I think -- well, I don't know. They got some big two-out hits on us today. And usually in a series like this, the team that gets the most two-out RBI hits is the one that wins. And they got the last one.

Q. Have you heard of Timo Perez before? And of all the players in their line-up, was he the one you were least concerned about?

DUSTY BAKER: He is the guy we knew the least about. We'd never seen him before. Seen him on TV a couple of times. He had limited at-bats. And these are the guys that usually kind of hurt you until you learn who they are and what their strengths and weaknesses are. And we really didn't know very much about him. He played a heck of a game. He got three hits and got a big two-out RBI hit in the second with bases loaded. That was the difference in the game for a long time.

Q. You met with Felix just before Jay Payton's at bat. What did you tell him, and did you give any thoughts about bringing Robb Nen in?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, No. 1, I didn't meet with him. My pitching coach, Dave Righetti met with him. Yeah, we thought about bringing in Robb Nen, but where he was in the line-up, he had already hit for Ramon Martinez, so the only guys I could have taken out to double-switch with at the time, because I certainly didn't want to waste Robb for one out, because he was the lead-off hitter the next inning, which would be the catcher, which wouldn't have given me any speed to lead off the inning, or all the way back to Ellis Burks. I hate to take Ellis out of the game, because the next inning in the game his spot would have been very important to us. We chose to pitch to Jay Payton, because he hits well against left-handers and struggles against right-handers. And I thought about walking him to get to Bordick, but they'd have probably hit Lenny Harris. And if I brought in a left-hander, they would probably bring in Trammell. Both of those have done a great job for them off the bench. With Felix, I chose to stay with Felix, and take the shot and start the bottom of the 10th off with the batter of choice, which would have been Rios.

Q. Did you get a chance to talk with Estes? Did he think he was out? I know he was hurt, but why didn't he hang on the bag somehow?

DUSTY BAKER: He was trying to hang on to the bag. It was just that he should have slid. When in doubt, slide. I don't know. That's what happens a lot of times when pitchers are on base. And he is a good base runner; he's a good slider. As it worked out the, x-rays are negative. And then Kirk Rueter, which is overshadowed, the job that Kirk Rueter did for us in relief. And he was trying to hang on to the bag, but his ankle gave way by him not sliding. And that turned out to be a pretty big inning, it sort of took the wind out of things for a while.

Q. Two parts to this, how did you think your altered line-up worked, and do you think you will stick with it? And how will it affect your pitching plans?

DUSTY BAKER: It didn't work great, but I think Calvin Murray was the only one that got a hit on that altered line-up. Jeff Kent played a very fine first base today. And we face Hampton again. I'll go with my regular line-up. It was just today it was altered because of Leiter, who threw a very good game against us.

Q. The second part, your starting pitching plans?

DUSTY BAKER: No, that doesn't change my pitching plans, because Kirk was in the bullpen long or gardener, and so now that sort of eliminates Kirk for a few days, because he threw 71 pitches. And so if there's a Game 4, we'll have to make a decision to go with Gardner or go with Livan on three days' rest.

Q. Al Leiter seems to have been a problem for the Giants for his entire career. What is it about him that makes him so?

DUSTY BAKER: He's a problem for a lot of people. When you win 15 games, and he's been a big winner for them over the years, and he's a power pitcher that comes inside. Inside, he's tough on left-handers, and he's also very tough on right-handers.

End of FastScripts....

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