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October 17, 2023

Dusty Baker

Arlington, Texas, USA

Globe Life Field

Houston Astros

Workout Day Press Conference

Q. Is there any scenario under which you'd like Verlander on short rest in the series?

DUSTY BAKER: We haven't even talked about it. We're just trying to win this game tomorrow. So, I mean, if it presents itself, then we'll see. But right now we haven't even discussed that.

Q. How crucial is it that Kyle Tucker gets going, and what do you think his issues have been at the plate during the playoffs?

DUSTY BAKER: It's not the first starter that's had a tough playoff. I remember when I was a kid, Orlando Cepeda had -- he was MVP. He had a tough one. And I had a tough one after I hurt my hand in '81.

So Tuck is going to get going. We had a good conversation today. And for a temporary situation, I might move him down the order, try to take a little bit off of him.

So we'll see. And there are a few guys we need to get going, or we all need to get going.

Q. Clearly 0-2 is not where you want to be. But the comfort of coming to this building, where you've had success, how much do you draw off that, and how much does what you guys did in September still stay in your mind?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't know, I haven't talked to the guys about it. All I know certain places that you go you feel very comfortable as a hitter offensively. And I know our guys see the ball well here.

And so the way we look at it, we were one hit in each game away from winning those games. So we could be 2-0, but we're not, but it gives comfort in the fact that we know how close we are at getting together.

Q. The other day you talked about momentum and how real it is, the fact that you guys haven't had a lead in this series, how much more crucial is that for you guys to feel some of that success early on in tomorrow's game?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. I want to feel success at the end of the game. That's all I'm worried about. And I've been in all kind of scenarios. I've been up 2-0 and lost. I've been down 2-0 and won, you know, I've been down as a player three games back with three games to go and we tied it up. So it's like I'm not giving it to them yet.

Q. From your experiences with Max, what are his emotions like before and during the start of this magnitude?

DUSTY BAKER: He doesn't talk too much. He's kind of like Verlander. I mean, they're very similar. Just leave them alone. And they're intense. They're concentrated. They're focused. And a lot of the good ones, they're like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you don't really talk to them on the days that they pitch.

Q. How did Kyle just handle (indiscernible) down temporarily, and then for you, what is the tipping point to make a decision like that, just knowing how productive he's been?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, tipping point has to be he and Scherzer hasn't had a very good understanding. And just like Bruce moved the first baseman down. Last time we saw him, he was hitting third. Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do and hope it's temporary.

So what's the tipping point, it takes a while to get to whatever time you're going to make that move. And also the fact that you've got some guys that are swinging better ahead of them. And Michael has had pretty good success against Scherzer.

I wrestle at night and don't sleep sometimes trying to figure out different lineups, that's all I do.

Q. Given how good Javier has been as a postseason pitcher and given the team situation being down, if he does not come out sharp, who's the next guy up?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. I'm serious. I mean, you guys play different scenarios, and most of them are negative results. I deal with positive results and worry about it when I get there.

Q. How crucial is it in the series going forward to get to their starters, to maybe make Boch use -- it seems like he's relying on two or three relievers. How important is to get to their starters?

DUSTY BAKER: It's always important to get to their starters, always, whether it's this series or any other series. The only thing is in the playoffs is they have like three or four other starters down in the bullpen. They just happen to be in the bullpen. They've got Dunning, they've got Heaney.

So it's not like during the regular season when you get to a guy's bullpen. You could get to the bullpen and actually get to a guy, a better starter than who's starting.

Q. Being down 2-1 is certainly different than being down 3-0. As you go into Game 3, what is the balance between being aggressive and managing the way you have been, because that's what got you here?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I'm always aggressive. But you've got to be aggressive without running into traps or a suicide mission.

So, again, I am not thinking about being down 3-0. That's the last thing on my mind. My mindset is to be down 2-1, and then be even 2-2, and then hopefully get to 3-2 and hopefully get to the World Series; that's how my mind thinks.

Q. Have you guys designated a Game 4 starter?

DUSTY BAKER: No, not yet. If you don't recall, nobody -- if I'd had that mindset, we wouldn't be here where we are in the division. Because people were writing us off as the Wild Card. They said we have a 5 percent chance of winning the division, whatever it was. So it's like I've got a totally different mindset than most people.

Q. Follow-up on that wrestling with the lineups. Does it keep you up at night if you come to the lineup -- you told us you thought long and hard about Urquidy in Game 4 of the DS too.

DUSTY BAKER: It doesn't keep me up at night, it just wakes me up. I can go to sleep quicker than any man you've ever seen. My wife talking to me, in 30 seconds I'm asleep. I'm what they call a mid-sleep insomniac. I had a friend of mine who was a clinical psychologist, and I was asking him why do I do that. He said I'm a mid-sleep insomniac. Means you can go to sleep quick, but you can't stay asleep. One, two o'clock in the morning -- anybody in here a mid-sleep insomniac? Yeah. That's what wakes me up. Sometimes Maldy wakes me up, now he's here, I might be dreaming.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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