Q. Lance McCullers' ERA in the first inning is almost 6. How important will it be to get a lead against him early and give Ventura something to work with?
NED YOST: It's always important. Especially in a game of this magnitude to jump out early, not only does it help your offense, but it helps your starting pitcher. It gives him a little leeway there to continue to maneuver and calm him down a little bit. So it's going to be important to try to jump out and see if we can score some runs early.
Q. You guys have played elimination games before, obviously. How do you sort of find the line between staying lose and staying confident but also recognizing that there might not be a tomorrow if you don't come through today?
NED YOST: Don't really worry about tomorrow. We just stay focused. The clubhouse right now is full of laughter and guys are ready to go. They're loose, they're ready to go. They know what's ahead of them. They got to win. They got to win today and then they got to win on Wednesday, if they want to continue to keep playing.
So, they understand that. They know the task ahead of them, and they know what it's all about.
Q. Could you just run down your lineup for us today?
NED YOST: Same lineup. Nothing changed. Except for Ventura's pitching.
Q. How, if at all, do you manage an elimination game differently than another playoff game?
NED YOST: A little bit differently. We purposely didn't use Herrera yesterday down three or Madson down three to try to hold it at three, knowing that you wanted them at full rest. They have the ability to go two innings if we need them, all three of them, if we need them. To be able to do that with the off day tomorrow. They will be ready to go again.
You just play the game. Hopefully Ventura is on, like we think he will be. Let him get through six, if he can, and then we're in pretty good shape if we have got the lead at that point with Herrera, Madson, and Wade Davis.
So the game plan's not going to change.
Q. Last year you had trouble sleeping at night. Kind of curious, how did last night go?
NED YOST: I didn't sleep worth a damn last night. I slept so good the night before. I had room service and went to bed about 11 and I slept until 8. I went to bed last night about 11 and woke up at 1 and that was it. That was the end of the sleeping. So, we'll win this today and sleep tonight.
Q. Do you attribute that to nerves, or do you just want to watch Sons of Anarchy or something?
NED YOST: No, I didn't even get out of bed. It's not nerves. You know what? It's the excitement, I think, of the playoffs. It's just the game yesterday, I thought it was a really good game, we had opportunities. I didn't sit there and pout over the opportunities or because we lost the ball game. I really didn't really think about the game much.
But I just think you get so amped up that at times it's hard to sleep. And it's funny because as soon as you go to bed, bam, I mean, you're sleeping, and then when you roll over, it's like, geez, I hope it's five or six o'clock in the morning. And you look at the clock, and it's one and it's like, whoa (laughter). But that's the way it is.
Q. Given all that, what do you think your players will feel as far as the quick turnaround? Do you think that having to play so fast is a good thing?
NED YOST: No, the players -- again, I think everybody in the clubhouse is loose. We still have a ton of confidence in that group. Quite frankly, I'm glad we're playing the early game so we didn't have to sit around and wait for it all day long.
I'm glad we got -- after that yesterday we can come back and get this one under our belt and then move on. So, I'm happy about that.