Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI/Shutterstock (13486557ao) Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker watches his team as they hold 5-0 lead over the New York Yankees in game three of their American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Saturday, October 22, 2022. Alcs Yankees Astros, New York, United States – 22 Oct 2022
The Astros are a win away from a fourth World Series in six years. They wiped out the Yankees 5-0 on Saturday to take a 3-0 lead in the ALCS. Only one team has come back from a 3-0 deficit – the Red Sox did it to these same Yankees.
It won’t happen here.
The Astros are on the brink thanks to masterful magic by one man – Dusty Baker.
Baker made the right call to start Cristian Javier (5 1/3rd innings, one hit, no runs).
Baker made the ride call to leave Jose Altuve in the lead-off spot. He had a hit.
Baker made the right call to leave Hunter Brown in the game with a 5-0 lead and runners on first and third. Brown got two outs before Baker brought in Rafael Montero, who got out Aaron Judge. Baker managed his bullpen perfectly.
Make no mistake – Baker has great players. That’s why these Astros are so good. But Dusty keeps pushing the right buttons. A manager doesn’t mean much in the regular season, but he does matter in the playoffs. The Astros have won six in a row in the postseason, and all along, there has been Baker, pushing the buttons throughout.
No, Dusty did not hit a two-run homer. That was Chas McCormick. No, he didn’t have clutch RBIs like deadline acquisitions Trey Mancini and Christian Vazquez. But he put them out there, and they did their thing; no, he did not allow just three hits (two in the ninth). But that was the pitching staff he managed.
Yes. Behind it all? Dusty. He has done everything right this postseason, just like he did last year, even though it did not work out.
It should this year.
Dusty Baker, the silent star, has the Astros on the verge of another World Series. Just by doing his job well.