Q. So he's good to go for today?
NED YOST: Good to go, yeah.
Q. What was the decision to pick Collins over Bueno and Downs?
NED YOST: We like the way Collins has been throwing here lately. We like his curveball and his changeup. When we sent him down, it was to work on his fastball command. He came back commanding his fastball, throwing his curveball for strikes and really good changeups.
So we like Timmy in situations where there are switch hitters. If they pinch hit a righty for a lefty. We like Timmy's changeup in those situations, so that's why we did it.
Q. What about leaving Aaron Crow off the roster? He's pitched a lot for you this year.
NED YOST: Yeah, he pitched a lot for us, but we just felt at the end of the year he really struggled throwing strikes, and this time of year you've got to have a pretty good idea what you're going to get when you call on a reliever. Jason Frasor is a veteran guy that throws strikes to go along with Herrera and the back end guys.
The guys we're talking about are guys that are going to get us through the fifth and sixth inning to our back end guys. So between Finnegan, Collins and Frasor, we feel like we can do that.
Q. You left Ibanez off your playoff roster. I presume to make room for Gore as a pinch runner. How difficult is it to leave a veteran like Raul off?
NED YOST: Real hard. We met last night until 5:30 after the workout, and we all slept on it. Finally made our decision at 10:00 o'clock, but it's really, it's hard. We had to add two pitchers. So that meant two position players off the Wild Card roster couldn't make it.
We looked at the Angels having one reliever. We liked Nix in case we had to pinch hit for Mous. But a team that has three or four left handed relievers, that's more of an opportunity for Nix to play and to mix and match later in the game.
But with one reliever in Santiago, I'm not saying that it might not happen four times, but the odds of pinch hitting for Mous have dropped dramatically, so we decided to keep Colon and kept Willingham because we like the fact that if they do bring in Santiago for Mous, we have a guy that's a power hitting right hander that can come off the bench and take that at bat.
Q. Can you talk about the confidence factor for Jason? He's familiar with this ballpark. He's in California, and I've got to think he's embracing tonight's moment.
NED YOST: That and he's pitching against his old college teammate too. I think that's a pretty neat little story line where they're going to match up against each other and they're really good friends. But we just have confidence in him. We feel that in this ballpark, the last time he threw in this ballpark he pitched a great game, 6 and 1/3, or 6 and 2/3, and handled this lineup really, really well. It's a very, very tough lineup, but when he's on, he has the ability to keep good hitters off balance. That's what we're hoping for tonight.
Q. It seemed like maybe 20, 30 years ago there were a number of teams that might have played the game the way you guys have played it as far as running. What is it -- it's not in vogue anymore, so what is it that makes you feel comfortable pursuing that way to play the game?
NED YOST: I think here, especially in the past, everybody got into hitting two and three run homers and they kind of abandoned bunting, stealing, playing the game aggressively in that fashion. Then you break down our lineup, do we have power?
Yeah, we have some guys that can hit the balls out of the ballpark. But we don't have any 25, 30, 35 home run hitters on our team. So we have to do other things.
When Dayton started building this team, you know, he wanted to do it with speed and athleticism, so we have very athletic players. We allow them to play their game. We try to take advantage of our speed. We try to get into scoring position. We're not really looking, even though we'll take it anytime we can get it for a three run homer.
So we have to find other ways to score, and we have to be aggressive on the base paths to do it. Is it a fun style of play?
I think so. I like playing. I like doing it like that. I like trying to create some havoc on the base paths. As you saw during the Wild Card game, we play. We go out and play. We play to win. We don't play defensively. We don't play cautiously. We go out and play to win a baseball game, and we're going to do it anyway we can.
Q. What is the plan as far as Danny Duffy? What role do you plan on using him in?
NED YOST: Right now we're going to use Danny as a long guy in our pen. We've set it up so that till after the off day we'll look at our pitching, but right now we like Danny coming out of the pen. We could use him early, if we run into problems, and he can hopefully hold the fort until we can get to our 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys, allow us to get back in the ballgame if something happens, or we can use him late.
Q. Ventura got the ball in a big spot on Tuesday, giving it to him in a big spot tomorrow on the road. What is it about his make up that makes you guys so confident?
NED YOST: Well, if you watched this kid pitch all summer long, he's got great composure for a young guy. Even in his first start last year, his first Major League start, you could tell he was a little amped up. He walked the first hitter, and I think he ended up walking the second hitter and the third hitter hit a comebacker to him, and most young guys in their first Major League start would fire it right into centerfield. He calmly took it, threw a perfect throw to second base, got a double play, and waltzed through the inning.
He's got great composure. He was in a big spot the other day. He was a little more amped up than he thought he would be, and we thought he would be. But it was a great experience for him. We talked to him yesterday about it, and he knew. He said that's not going to happen again.
We've got a lot of confidence in his ability, but when you throw a 100 mile an hour fastball, and 95 mile an hour two seamer, and 94 mile an hour cutter and nice curveball and nice changeup, I think everybody has confidence in him.
Q. Is there any lingering concern about Duffy's shoulder?
NED YOST: No, no, not at all.
Q. Why would you shy away from using a guy who at times this year might have been your best starter?
NED YOST: That's the decision we made. I'm not shying away from Danny Duffy. We just felt we wanted to go with the veteran Jason Vargas who pitches better on the road, and we're going to go with the power of Ventura tomorrow, and then James Shields, that is his normal day.
So that's the decision we made. Danny fits right into a situation where it's going to be crucial for us that he comes in and has a good outing. So we wanted somebody that if we had to go to somebody early, it's Danny Duffy that we trust in that situation to hold the score there and allow us to hopefully climb back into the game.
Q. One more about Danny. Does the fact that their hitters are predominantly right handed power, does that factor into that at all?
NED YOST: A little bit, but not a whole lot because Danny has tremendous stuff too. Danny has the control of right handed lineup with his stuff, and his ability to throw a baseball at 93 to 97 miles an hour, good changeup, good curveball, so that didn't really factor into it. We looked at the predominantly right handed hitters would be a better match up for Ventura. We think so with his power.
So we just felt really strong that we needed somebody in that pen that could hold the fort if we ran into trouble early or if we ran out of pitching late.
Q. Is Guthrie in a similar boat here, stretch him out if you need to?
NED YOST: Yeah, yeah. I mean, we're looking. Our idea was, and we haven't totally settled in on it. We got through the first three games, but probably what we'll do is Guthrie will throw Game 4. We looked, again, the records on the road, and the records at home, and we liked Vargy on the road, and we definitely liked Jeremy Guthrie at home. But we'll just continue to play it out here and go from there to see what happens.
Q. How much did what Colon did on Tuesday night factor into your decision to keep him on the playoff roster, or was it the whole season?
NED YOST: The answer to your question was it was off the whole season. We knew. When we took Jason Nix and we took Colon on that roster, first of all, after he broke his finger we weren't really confident that he was going to be able to come back and be healed for the playoffs.
The last week of the season he was feeling better and started throwing and his throwing looked pretty good, which was the major concern for us. We sent him to instructional league and he was getting like eight and nine at bats a day and playing three innings at second, three innings at short, three innings at third. Had no repercussions.
So we brought him back the last day of the season and played him at third base. There he did great. So we wanted him on the playoff roster with Jason Nix because if they pinch hit for Mous, automatically we like Nix's defense at third. Christian can play anywhere on the field, but we like Nix's defense at third a little bit better. Then if it came back around, we like Christian's bat and we'd probably pinch hit Chris. But we knew that he's a winning type player. The thing about him is there is nothing really fancy or anything that stands out in his game, but he's a very solid, consistent performer.