HOUSTON – Employing a strong group of relievers – which included one of their starters – Astros manager Dusty Baker made the right decisions to help his team stay alive in the World Series for a Game 6 against the Braves at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday.
Now Baker is tasked with creating a pitching plan for another life and death game. But the Houston squad would definitely rather be in this situation than already home.
“We still have work to do,” Baker said. “We came to Atlanta to win three games. When that didn’t happen… the mindset changed to ‘We must go home’. And now what we think is to win the first game, that is, Game 6, and then be in position to win Game 7. “
To do this, the Astros will turn to Venezuelan rookie Luis Garcia as Game 6 starter with a few days off. Mexico’s Jose Urquidy was projected to start in Game 6, but Baker on Sunday needed to employ the right-hander, who pitched an inning. The right-hander had just 14 pitches, but he may be helpful Tuesday if things quickly go off the rails.
However, Baker said he wishes he would “not use” Urquidy and save him for a possible Game 7 if the Fall Classic is extended.
Garcia will start with just three days off for the first time in his career. He threw 72 pitches – his second-most this postseason – in 3.2 innings of Game 3, taking the loss after conceding three hits and a run on a walk in the game Houston lost 2-0.
“Nothing has changed,” Garcia said Monday of his routine with little rest. “I just want to do business as usual and be ready for the game.”
The right-hander has been through ups and downs in October, showing signs of strength and some of weakness. But what has become clear is that Garcia has gained experience. And with experience comes confidence.
“When the postseason started, I was a little nervous, but now I’m confident in my abilities,” Garcia explained. “I feel better now, compared to the beginning. I feel pretty good.
“I have to do my pitches. That is the only thing I have to do. What has to happen will happen. But I will try to get outs and do my best ”.
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García expresses confidence ahead of Game 6