10/07/2012 1:48 AM ET
Oct. 6 D. Baker postgame interview
Q. Do you have further word on Johnny Cueto, specifically how bad the back spasms were and whether he would be available for you to use as the Game 3 starter?
DUSTY BAKER: As of right now, we don't know quite yet, because I just saw Johnny after the game and he said he was better, whatever that means. He was in quite a bit of pain out there after he threw the pitch.
So the fact that he said he's better, and Johnny is usually pretty honest with us, that gives us a glimmer of hope that he might be back. I can't say for sure, but you know how back spasms are. When it lets you go, it lets you go when it wants to.
Q. That moment when you see Johnny Cueto is hurt, if you would take me through your mind process at that point and also the process of determining that Latos is going to be the guy you're going to go to?
DUSTY BAKER: It was Latos' throw day. This is his third day, so that's why we didn't want to go any further than we went with him, but we wanted to go with Sam LeCure first, give Latos time to get ready mentally, because as a starting pitcher you have a day or two to get yourself ready mentally and also give him plenty of time to get ready in the bullpen.
As a reliever, takes you a lot less time to get going. With that, we were going to determine that at that point in time we were going to give Sam those two innings. I didn't feel very good about it, because you don't like to see a guy hurting, and you say, oh no, what can happen again, kinda, but then you think about what happened with Joey Votto, and this is a resilient team and they can pick each other up and go on.
Q. Was it the pitch to Angel Pagan that ‑‑ where he called the time‑out?
DUSTY BAKER: No, he was having trouble before that and I don't think that aggravated him ‑‑ I remember the pitch you're talking about, but he was feeling it a little bit before that.
Q. Did he give you any indication before he began pitching on the mound that he might have felt some tweaks with his back?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, he mentioned it right before. He said he felt a couple of pitches in the bullpen, but he said he felt it was a cramp and it had subsided. So we said okay, maybe it is a cramp or something, then to see him throwing the lights out of the ball, that's the best he's thrown, throwing 94, 95 and we thought, oh, man, maybe he's better and he through that one pitch and that was it.
Q. Will you walk us through the situation with Aroldis, and what did you say? How confident are you going forward?
DUSTY BAKER: I'm very confident. He hasn't pitched very much lately and we hoped to get him in another game or two before ‑‑ at the end of the season when we faced St. Louis, but it wasn't so. This guy has been lights out. We would not be anywhere close to where we are right now if not for him.
We're very confident in and it and I just told him a couple of things ‑‑
Q. Spanish or English?
DUSTY BAKER: In Spanish. I don't recall what I told him, but I was making up something as I was going along.
Q. When you guys open in 2010, you faced Halladay. He throws a perfect game and you hit him, and you face Matt Cain and he throws a perfect game and you get to him, is that a good way to start off, given what happened the last time?
DUSTY BAKER: We knew Halladay was who he was in Philly, but we didn't know he was quite that good and tonight, you know, we weren't even thinking about the fact that he had thrown a no‑hitter. We knew that this guy was an outstanding pitcher and if you don't get to him early, like Brandon did early in the game then usually you don't get to him, and if you let him get into the mid innings, he gets tougher and tougher. So we were fortunate tonight to get to him kinda early.
Q. Have you ever used three starting pitchers in the first three innings?
DUSTY BAKER: No, wasn't planned like that. We were just fortunate to win that game, like the way we did tonight. And you got to give big props to Latos. Here is a guy sitting back, relaxed, thinking he was going to pitch next week at home and now all of the sudden, boom, this is his first playoff game. It was a great feat by him.
Q. Can you talk about Brandon's night and that matrix move that allowed him to be safe at second?
DUSTY BAKER: Matrix move, I think I might have a new name for him. He has about 100 now, but Brandon ‑‑ that was a big play, the play of the game. We ended up scoring 2 runs out of that.
Boy, those were big runs as the night turned out in the 9th, those were big insurance runs. Brandon is a ballplayer, and that's all I can say. He plays all phases of the game and he enjoys playing and he's a smart ballplayer.
Q. When Johnny Cueto told you before the game about his back ‑‑
DUSTY BAKER: He didn't tell me before the game. I found out he had some discomfort right before the game from Bryan Price and at that point in time we didn't say anything to Latos at that time.
Q. When you did talk to Latos and Johnny Cueto comes out, do you ask a guy if he can pitch or do you tell him he's going to pitch?
DUSTY BAKER: No, you ask a guy if he's okay to pitch at that time. Fortunately, he didn't throw very much on the side today. He only threw some long tosses, and I would just tell you, I've never seen a guy do anything like that.
Q. While you were at the mound checking on Cueto, Latos was in the dugout loosening himself up. Was that something that Bryan told him, something he did on his own, something you signaled from the mound?
DUSTY BAKER: No, that was something Bryan told him before, I was trying to figure out who was going to come in the game and who was going to pitch and who was going to finish second and all these things are going through your mind and umpires are telling you, "Make sure you tell us the right name," you know what I mean? I have never had that happen before.
Q. Is there anything you can tell us about Game 3? Is Johnny a possibility for that? If he is, if his ‑‑
DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. I don't know yet. It's too early to tell.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.