Here is a transcript from Virginascopist of Dusty Baker’s post-game media session after yesterday’s loss:
QUESTION: Dusty, Max [Scherzer] pitched so well for you today. What are the factors that you’re kind of considering in that inning as things are kind of unfolding the way that they were?
DUSTY: Well, you know, the thing about it is, you know, it was “his” game. And he was still throwing the ball great and, you know, who could you bring in that was throwing better than him? That’s how you’ve got to consider it. I mean, you know, he worked two-and-a-half hours or two hours-plus, you know, to get in that position. Started out with a little cheap infield hit, and then — you know, and then we had the error, and then we ‑‑ you know, these things are — it’s different if they’re hitting him around the ballpark, but they weren’t.
And then he [hit-by-pitch] Dee [Gordon], and then we had the wild pitch and, you know, Raburn almost come up with that ball, and, you know, to throw Dee out at the plate, you know, it was a heck of a play. So, you know, those are the main factors that ‑‑ you know, it was his game.
QUESTION: Had you guys ‑‑ I mean, was it kind of hard because I’m sure he probably didn’t want to talk about staying in that game, but was it hard to kind of get a sense of where he was strength‑wise, given that his pitch count was kind of climbing there in the seventh inning?
DUSTY: No, but, I mean, Max knows how to close it out. And, you know, we’ve got an extra day, you know, on our rotation because of the off day tomorrow. And so, you know, you keep an eye on the radar gun. He was still throwing 95, 96. And, you know, he was looking strong, and he didn’t have any stressful innings, you know, so ‑‑ yeah, I mean, the thing about it is, I mean, you think about, well, who do you want to bring in out of the bullpen that’s throwing better than Max, and it’s his game.
QUESTION: Is that as good as you’ve seen him, Dusty?
DUSTY: Yeah. I mean, he had no‑hit stuff tonight, you know. And like I said, if it wasn’t for that little cheap hit and then, you know, we made the error, you know, he’s out of the inning, and then he’s done, and then we go to the bullpen at that point in time.
QUESTION: The fact that he can put himself even in these kind of positions so regularly as much as he does, what does that say to you about a guy who can be that consistently dominant?
DUSTY: Well, it means that he’s, you know, emotionally and mentally strong and physically strong. And it tells you what kind of shape he’s in. I mean, this guy works as hard as anybody I’ve ever had. This is what allows him to go as deep into games as he does. And he’s still throwing quality – quality strikes.
And so ‑‑ boy, it was ‑‑ you know, it’s fun to watch, and it was a little nerve‑racking on the bench. I mean, once they got the hit, now you’ve got to figure out how to ‑‑ you know, how to win the ball game.
QUESTION: You talked about how Straily can be pretty good. Did you feel like it was more him being good or you guys kind of coming out of your game or what ‑‑
DUSTY: No, not really. I mean, he was ‑‑ he’d get to 3‑2 and throw you a changeup or a breaking ball. Like I said before, you know, he’s from the American League, and he pitches backwards, you know. When you’ve got him in a fastball count, here comes a changeup; when you’ve got him in a count where he’s in trouble, then, you know, here comes the slider. I mean, he threw the ball ‑‑ you know, he threw the ball well. He just didn’t throw as good as Max.
QUESTION: How huge was Raburn’s home run? Did it seem like, at the time, that’s all Max was going to need?
DUSTY: Well, it seems like it, but you always want insurance. You know, and we had runners on, I think, in the second and third and the eighth inning, and Trea hit the ball hard all game. You know, and with a base hit there, we could ice the game. And so ‑‑ but, you know, the ball wasn’t falling for Trea. I mean, he hit the ball hard today and didn’t get much to show for it.
QUESTION: I know you wanted to get Zim and Murphy two days off. In order to have to use one of those, particularly Zimmerman, late in the game, would it had to have been ‑‑ not an emergency situation, but not just a ‑‑ like, just for defense sort of thing?
DUSTY: No. No. But ‑‑ I mean, but Lind is one of our hottest bats, and his at‑bat was coming up again in the ninth, you know. And so, you know, we wanted to ‑‑ I mean, ordinarily, in a game like that, you know, you put your defense in. But when you’ve got another big bat coming up in the ninth, then, you know, you don’t want to take that bat out of the lineup.
QUESTION: Any update on Taylor?
DUSTY: Well, yeah, he’s a little sore. You know, he wasn’t available. That’s why I couldn’t pinch hit for any of my outfielders, because I didn’t have anybody to put out there, and that’s what happens when you’re playing with a four‑man bench and one of them is your catcher. So we have to address that as well.
QUESTION: What’s his issue, Dusty?
DUSTY: I can’t tell you.