Baker's bullpen bet helps Astros survive to G6

10:42 PM ET

Pedro GomezMLB

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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez covered the Oakland A’s home and away nearly every day from 1992-97 for the San Jose Mercury News and Sacramento Bee and then became the national baseball writer and later a general columnist at the Arizona Republic before becoming an ESPN bureau reporter in 2003.

SAN DIEGO — Carlos Correa might have provided the exclamation point, lacing a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday to keep the Astros‘ season alive at least one more day, but it was manager Dusty Baker’s cool hand that kept Houston in this game, giving Correa a chance for his dramatics.

As the game started, Baker was looking at a deuce, six, eight, jack and queen to play, meaning he really had nothing, except his decades of experience and one of the best poker faces in the game going for him.

On the mound for Houston was rookie Luis Garcia, who had 12⅓ innings of big league experience, who had never pitched in the postseason and who previously stepped on a big league mound 19 days earlier. The next three relievers Baker called on, like Garcia,

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