Oct. 9 Dusty Baker pregame interview

Q. When you were putting this team together in the off season and you found out you had the possibility of getting Ryan Ludwick, how did you figure he was going to fitted into the hole that was here and how has he fit?
DUSTY BAKER: Good question. I didn't know how he was going to fit in because he had a couple of down years from his big years in St. Louis.
As I was in Spring Training I was trying to figure out who was going to be my left fielder at the time between Heisey and he and I was playing them both in the beginning trying to figure out which one was going to be it.
Then Ludwick got hot there, got hot probably in May or June or something like that, and then, you know, he made up my mind for me. He's fit in well, he's a good teammate, which is very, very important in our equation here. He's one of our team leaders at the same time, so he's fit in well.

Q. During the regular season you're a big proponent of playing everybody so they stay fresh. How do you juggle that in the postseason when you have fewer at bats to give away?
DUSTY BAKER: That's tough during the playoffs. Trying to keep everybody fresh in games, like I did the other day in San Francisco, you get some guys some at bats here or there. You're basically trying to keep everybody fresh during the season in order to get to this time.
You get to this time where guys are still fresh because you spread out the work, there is going to come sometime soon, depending on the time of the games, when I'm going to give a guy a rest or a blow so to speak.
But the games, the way they have been, we have only played a couple of games, night games, both of them. So you don't have day after night like I usually do.
When and if that day comes, which it probably will, and depending on the match up, and on who I think and hit who the best, the ballpark that we're in, you know, then I'll make a change.

Q. At what percent of his true self is Joey Votto playing right now?
DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. I would say probably 95, probably. Stolen bases are part of his game, which he hasn't been able to steal, or going first to third, which is another big part of his game. Also, the fact that he's getting hits, but he hasn't hit the ball out of the ballpark yet.
But would you rather have 95% of Joey Votto as long as he's not in pain or would you rather not have Joey Votto at all? He's a force even when he's not doing anything, in the lineup. He makes a pitcher throw out of the stretch, with his on base percentage. He's going to get key hits and he's going to hit the tough pitches, something that Joey Votto can do unlike anybody else. This guy can hit.
You know sooner or later, every time he goes without hitting a home run, somebody is in trouble because you know home run is right around the corner. We'll see, which I hope he gets a home run today.

Q. You may have addressed this locally. I'm from Columbus, but I heard chatter on the radio how you were soaking up the experience more, enjoying San Francisco. Does that have anything to do with your recent health concern? How much are you enjoying these moments?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, I mean, I'm enjoying these moments big time. I envisioned these moments during the winter, you know. Like I have been talking to my team from Spring Training to now the whole year.
So it's not that I'm surprised. It's just that I'm pleasantly pleased that we're at this point. My health is I'm getting better every day, and I would like to think I'm looking better every day. At least my wife told me you're putting on a little weight now, she told me.
I'm enjoying this big time, and I'm hoping that everybody in town and all the Reds fans are enjoying this as well. We're going to keep on trying to give them some enjoyment so I'm very happy where we are right now.

Q. Going back to the lineup, in a short series how hard is it to rest a guy like Rolen or Stubbs just because of how good they are defensively to have out on the field?
DUSTY BAKER: That's a good question, also, because most of these games are going to be close and you're going to need defense. There is going to come sometimes I'm going to go with maybe Heisey out there.
It's very hard to keep Frazier out of there, but I try to get him in there when I can because Scott Rolen is still Scott Rolen. He's our team leader on the field; and to keep Frazier out there right now, like I tell you, it's tough.
But I will try to get him in there moments that are really very valuable to us and also the world is his probably the next ten years. So who knows, this could be Scott's last go round, so I'm sure he wants to go out with a bang.

Q. Any decision on a possible Game 4 starter? Would you feel apprehensive about bringing Latos back after pitching him on three day's rest?
DUSTY BAKER: You would rather not because you don't go through the year with guys pitching on four day's rest. Right now we don't have any decision on a Game 4 starter. Right now it depends on what happens today and then we will make that decision after the game.
I would like to not even have that decision to make to tell you the truth. That would be the epitome of a good day, you know, would be for Homer to throw a good day and we can worry about somebody else starting the next series. A lot depends on today.

Q. Can you share any update on Johnny Cueto? Is he getting better every day?
DUSTY BAKER: He just showed up a little while ago. They said he's getting better, but we don't know what "better" is. So it's a question, I mean, that's a volatile area. You've seen the the obliques, sometimes they hang around for a while, and sometimes they don't hang around for a while.
We don't know the severity of it. He came in yesterday and got treatment all day long, so right now I would just be guessing to let you know how he is exactly right now. In a nutshell, we don't know.

Q. Two years ago you came home down 0 2. This time you are 2 0. What do you expect the atmosphere to be like tonight for the city and for the ballpark specifically?
DUSTY BAKER: I hope it's a great atmosphere, positive. You want it to be the tenth player, to have an affect on the game. This is what we expect today, but a lot depends on what we'll what happens early in the game, I think, and the tone is set during the game.
I'm looking for excitement. I'm looking for big time excitement. I'm excited now to tell you the truth, but I've got to curve that because we have two or three hours to go before the game starts. I'm just hoping that it's a great day.

Q. Aroldis Chapman had a rough outing that first game and you were able to rest him with a blowout in Game 2, got a good start from Bronson Arroyo. What's his confidence like right now? What's his mindset? Have you talked to him? In a potential NLCS situation or even tonight if he comes out of the bullpen, what do you see in his near future?
DUSTY BAKER: I see success in his future. That's probably one of the worst outings that he's had in a while, so if he has another 32, we will be home by then. His confidence is not his problem. I don't see it as a problem at all, to tell you the truth. I haven't talked to him about it.
He's a guy that doesn't show a whole bunch of emotions, which I think helps him a lot. I'm going to throw him back out there and hopefully it's a game saving situation and I feel confident with him out there on the mound.