Dusty Baker’s adjustments fuel Astros comeback in Game 5

Houston Astros, MLB Postseason

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Give Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker credit — his adjustments heading into Game 5 have paid off big time against the Braves.

When the Astros are cooking offensively, there isn’t a team in baseball that can pitch to them.

Despite facing an early 4-run deficit thanks to an Adam Duvall grand slam in the first inning, the Astros stormed back to take a middle-innings lead. It’s all thanks to Baker.

Dusty’s lineup decisions were bold from the first pitch, as he moved Alex Bregman down to the No. 7 spot. Bregman, a perennial All-Star candidate, has struggled in the postseason. He has one hit, a walk and an RBI on the night.

Carlos Correa in the No. 3 hole was also a curious decision, but one that’s worked so far. The shortstop has two hits on the night through five innings.

Astros: Dusty Baker comes up clutch

Rather than pinch-hitting for catcher Martin Maldonado, Baker let his catcher hit. Maldonado never took the bat off his shoulders with the bases loaded, and even faked a bunt attempt with three balls to throw A.J. Minter off his game.

That’s cold-blooded.

Next up was pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez, who Baker only called off his bench because his first PH, Zack Greinke, had already recorded a single in his lone at-bat. Gonzalez blooped in a single to score two more runs, and give Houston their first lead of the game.

Better to be lucky than good. But in Baker’s case, he’s been doing this for a long time.

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