The Dodgers will play Tuesday’s sixth game of the with the implications of a loss obvious: Mess up, and their season’s over.
But the intend to approach the game with a strikingly similar approach, thanks to their experience coming back from the same deficit the Dodgers face.
“When you consume yourself with too much ‘what ifs’ in the future, it will only complicate matters,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Monday. “So I’m going to proceed just trying to win Game 6. And if that means I have to use guys in a unique way, that’s fine.
“If the game warrants any decision to try to win the game, I think you have to try to win the game that you’re playing that day and not concern yourself with a lot of unknowns.”
Hinch noted that he typically stresses the value of a short memory to his players, recommending they forget both failure and success soon after games. Not this time.
“In this particular situation,” Hinch said, “I want our guys to remember exactly how we felt coming home after the Yankees, getting swept [at Yankee Stadium] and having a 3-2 deficit. We weren’t going to give up and the Dodgers aren’t going to give up either.”
Hinch said that should remind his players that anything is possible.
“That’s why it’s important for us to focus on the game at hand,” he said, “and do everything that we can to win the first game that we play.”
In discussing the beleaguered bullpens both teams boast, and how they could impact the remaining games, Hinch made one quick slip, saying he thought the Astros had "two innings" worth of bullpen left.
“I’m sorry, two games worth of bullpen left," he corrected. "We realize that the bullpens have been beat up a little bit on both sides. But that doesn’t have an impact on decisions that are made or pitches that are made in the next game.”
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