The Houston Astros are currently locked in a tight battle with the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners for AL West supremacy. However, at the moment, the top of the AL West is lava, with the three contending teams not exactly playing convincing baseball over the past few weeks. The Astros, in particular, are coming off a heartbreaking 8-7 loss to the playoff-bound Baltimore Orioles — a terrible result since they were up by two runs entering the top of the ninth inning.
“It was devastating, but you have to get over it. You can’t bring it back. That hurt a lot,” Baker said, per Chandler Rome of The Athletic.
Dusty Baker's hands, however, aren't exactly clean. In the sixth inning, the Astros manager refused to pinch hit for soft-hitting catcher Martin Maldonado with two runners on base. Instead, Baker watched Maldonado strike out for the second out of the inning, preventing the Astros from inflicting as much damage as they could have.
The veteran manager said that he'll be sticking to his guns even with the Rangers and Mariners hot on their tails in the race for the AL West crown.
“There’s more urgency, but you can’t panic, either. It does no good. It does your players no good. You try to do the same and just improve,” Baker added.
Only time will tell if the same tactics work for the Astros in their final 11 games; after all, it resulted in another World Series win last season.