10/24/2002 03:13 am ET
Baker post-game quotes
Giants manager Dusty Baker
Can you comment on the job of Kirk
Rueter, particularly in the fourth through sixth
Well, in the beginning,
they got some hits off of him and didn't look too
good. But we knew if Kirk got through that little
period there, his sinker was going to start sinking
better, threw up a couple key double plays.
What can I say about Kirk other than we
love having him on the mound. He keeps our
defense sharp. He throws strikes. Helps himself
in the field always, and he helped himself at the
plate, started with that big rally with that infield hit.
So, Kirk did an outstanding job. He gave
us what we needed. Preserved our bullpen. We
really needed that tonight.
Dusty, walking Barry (Bonds) seems to get a
little bit more and more every game, and Benito (Santiago)
is in that pressure-packed situation. Would
you consider giving him a pass, by any
Benito, behind Barry. Mixing up the
It's been working pretty
good so far. Whoever you're going to put back
there, it's going to be the same situation. Benito's
come through big time in the second half. That's
why he remains there.
I don't know, if you guys can come up with
any better lineup, please, tell me. (laughter)
Dusty, can you discuss what factors
you had to weigh in the fifth inning when you
let Kirk hit for himself? Did you have any
flashbacks to 2000 when you let Mark Gardner
hit for himself?
No, I usually don't have flashbacks, No. 1. No. 2, I let Kirk hit for himself because I know Kirk can hit. No. 3, my bullpen was spent. I really -- I don't know, I just decided to let Kirk hit because there
was nobody out. Even if he makes an out, I got
Kenny Lofton up next. I really need another
inning out of Kirk big time, so we could get to Felix (Rodriguez) and (Tim) Worrell and (Robb) Nen. Things just worked out.
Did it feel, when these guys went
out ahead of you, that maybe it was happening
all over again, they would jump off to a big lead
and you'd be in a big hole all over again?
It was starting that way,
but the thing about it is I know Kirk has the ability
to throw ground balls, throw double plays. No. 1, you can't start thinking, "Here we go again,
because it's going to happen again." You have to
start thinking, "This is the end of it. This is Kirk.
That's all they're going to get." And that's all they
So you're concerned, but you have to
remain positive and think positive that that's all.
Jumping ahead just a little bit, if
there's a Game 7, do you give any thought to
bringing Kirk back? Are you set on Livan (Hernandez)?
I'm not set on anything.
We'll just see when we get there. We got Game 5
and 6 before we get to Game 7. We have to win
Game 5 before you can get to Game 7.
I don't know, we'll see when we get there.
Dusty, you had a swinging bunt and
a bunt and a passed ball that all led to runs in
this game. Sometimes you have to have little
things like that happen to win games?
Yeah, you definitely have
to have those things happen because it's been
happening to us, jam shots and just little freaky
plays. Yeah, you need those things. I mean, that's
part of baseball.
When those things start happening and the
crowd gets into it, you start thinking good fortune,
and usually good fortune follows.
We hit some balls hard earlier in the night
that we didn't get anything to show for it. So, like
they say, sometimes it's better to be lucky than
Dusty, your No. 8 hitter drives in the
winning run. Dave (Bell) has had good playoffs,
World Series. Anything surprising about that
No, because that's why
he's in that eighth spot. That eighth spot is a very,
very important spot. It's an RBI spot, a leadoff
spot, if he's leading off the inning, so the pitcher
can bunt him over. It's a two-out spot where you
hope he gets a hit or walk and gets on base so my
pitcher can come to bat in that situation, I can lead
off the next inning with my leadoff man.
That eighth spot is a very, very important
spot. Ann was talking about flashbacks of 2000.
2000, that eighth spot really hurt us, because our
pitcher had to lead off like five or six times during
that series. Then you have to make decisions, do
you let the pitcher hit or you don't really want to
take him out in that situation, especially if a guy is
dealing and the lineup on the other side, I might
want this guy to face this guy. That was a very,
very, very big spot tonight, because if David didn't
come through, I start the next inning with Robb
Nen, then I have to double switch and take
somebody out that I really don't want to take out.
That eighth spot is very important.
Dusty, what do you see that's going
on with Jeff Kent at the plate?
Well, I mean, Jeff hit a
ball hard. Runners on second and third, he hit a
bullet up the middle. Just sometimes, you're going
to go through an unfortunate period of time.
Nothing's happening. Just sometimes you got to
give them credit for making good pitches on Jeff.
They're pitching him tough, which is evident. You
would think, that with Barry Bonds hitting behind
him on a 3-2 count, they still threw him a breaking
ball and struck him out on the breaking ball.
That's a respect to Jeff right there. So
they're pitching Jeff tough.
Dusty, will you talk about starting a
series all over, best two-out-of-three with the
starting pitchers starting all over again from
Well, hey, I mean, that's
a series. We're 2-2. We definitely wanted and
needed this game tonight to start the series all over
again. We certainly didn't want to go down 3-1,
then have to win three in a row.
So, now it's the best two-out-of-three and
one-out-of-three is at our park. That was huge
tonight, to get back to 2-2.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.