Oct. 11 Yost pregame interview

Oct. 11 Yost pregame interview

Q.  To what extent is Danny Duffy available to start a game for you in this series?

NED YOST:  Right now we like Danny out of the bullpen. So we're going to evaluate Game 4 down the line. Jeremy Guthrie will pitch Game 3. But with 11 pitchers, we like having that extra power arm down there.

Q. So Vargas for Game 4?

NED YOST: Probably, yeah.

Q. Jeremy hasn't pitched in almost two weeks. I know he threw a sim game. Is that a concern going into Game 3?

NED YOST: No concern. He threw really good during the sim game -- and I mean command, action on his pitches, had a tremendous side yesterday. You know, this time of year, Jeremy has done better with a little extra rest. So he's strong, healthy, ready to go.

Q. Do you start to feel charmed or destined or anything when you consistently win these kind of games with the adversity, drama?

NED YOST:  Well, I like the fact that I've got a bunch of gamers on my team, guys that don't quit and stay after it. They don't -- even last night, after you have bases loaded and nobody out, the whole atmosphere in the dugout was, "Okay, boys, let's go. Let's D-up right here, get three outs and come out and do it again. Here we go."

That's a nice feeling to know that your club -- and they had a situation where we could have got Greg Holland in the game in the ninth inning; we couldn't make it work. But they were bound and determined to make it work the next inning. So they were going to go out and get three outs and make it happen again.

They don't quit, they keep fighting.

Q. During the regular season, you guys have all of one extra-inning home run. You've had four of them so far this postseason. Is this team simply better at hitting home runs than people give you credit for, or is there something about the group of players that you have in there that are able to turn it up in those situations?

NED YOST: I think a little of both. We knew we could hit home runs. It wasn't a big part of our game, because we play in a big stadium half our games. But we knew that we got home run power. We've got guys that can hit home runs.

But they're turning it up, too, at the right time. They're stepping up at the right time. Putting great swings on the ball.

Q. You joined the Royals after a few years into Dayton's time as general manager. How challenging did you find it to promote patience and belief among the players that this thing was going to work out?

NED YOST: That's kind of my MO a little bit. I saw this happen in Atlanta when I was a Minor League manager and saw all these kids come up and get to the big leagues. It took them about two and a half years before they could contend.

I saw it in Milwaukee where we had a group of young players all come up to win championships together. It took them about two and a half years before they could contend.

I told our group, two and a half years is when we're going to get to a point where we're able to contend. And the two-and-a-half-year mark was about at the All-Star break last year. And we weren't really doing well at that point. I was thinking to myself, Okay, well, it might be a little more than two and a half years.

But from that point, the All-Star break last year, they took off. And we were finally eliminated with like three or four games left into the season last year. You see where we are this year.

When you've got a group of players that are young, enthusiastic, and athletic that have great chemistry, that have won championships together at "A" ball, Double-A and Triple-A, you know it's a matter of time until they got to the big league level and would do the same thing here.

Now, did some of our fans back home get a little impatient? Yeah, a little bit. But still, you can see why they got impatient; 29 years of not going to the playoffs and the tremendous fan base, they wanted it.

But I've always been one to have faith in my players. I've got a pretty good idea what type of guys we have and where we were going. And it's easy to stay patient in that respect.

Q. What can pitching in these high leverage situations in postseason do for the development of Finnegan?

NED YOST: Well, it helps. Anytime you get into this type of experience, I mean there's no greater experience that you can have than pitching in the postseason in the Major Leagues. And for him to do it fresh out of college is tremendous for him.

But he's got all the tools to do it. He's got great stuff. He comes in and he throws strikes and he competes.

Q. Does the fact that there's a day off tomorrow and you grabbed a win and you can really grab control of the series today change at all what you're going to do and make maybe more of an all-hands-on-deck type of mentality?

NED YOST: We just go today. Our whole focus is winning today. That was part of the mindset last night when we sent Herrera back out for another inning and Wade Davis out for another inning last night. Let's win this game. And we're not going to worry about tomorrow until tomorrow.

It's the same focus. Do whatever you can to win this game today. Thinking about what's coming down the road doesn't do you any good. We just stay focused on what we've got to do today to be successful.

Q. You talk about the patience that you and Dayton have shown. How much do you think that's attributed to the resiliency that we've seen from this ballclub?

NED YOST:  That's a good one. I don't even know how to answer that. I think, you know, these kids, when they all came up, you know, and they won championships together they knew that they had it in them. And they knew that they were going to get to a point where they could do what they did in the Minor Leagues at the big league level. They all knew it. When they got to the big leagues, their goal and their focus was to win a championship in Kansas City. Even when they were young, that was their goal and their focus.

So in terms of that you knew, or at least I knew and Dayton knew, that if we gave them time to develop at this level that they had a high probability of that happening. I think that answers your question a little bit is that that gave us the confidence to let them grow, let them go through what they have to go through to get to a point where we are today.

Q. Yordano gets a lot of attention for the high-end velocity. How much success is directly to that and how much is the other pitches which probably can get overlooked sometimes?

NED YOST: All of it. When you throw 101-mile-an-hour fastball, which he's done, and you throw a 96-mile-an-hour two-seamer with tremendous action on it, 96-mile-an-hour cutter, nice changeup and a good curveball. He's got three plus pitches that he can throw for strikes. Couple that with his confidence and his ability to compete, makes him a special guy.

Q.  You've spoken about how you remember Cain and Escobar from when you were in Milwaukee. What do you remember about Nelson Cruz when he was there with you with the Brewers?

NED YOST:  I loved Nelson Cruz when he was there. Nelly was right on the verge of becoming a special player at that time. Still struggling to make contact, but when he did make contact, it was loud contact.

But you could tell down the road that he was going to be a big-time power hitter. He turned out better than I thought he would, quite frankly. He's become a better player than I thought that he would be. I always thought he would be a good player, but he's turned out to be a much better player than I ever envisioned him being.

Q.  What did you see in Kelvin's development that allowed you to see him in this role? What's changed for him? And how much does his role expand with what you guys do?

NED YOST:  Well, I haven't really seen -- when he got to the big leagues, he was a lot like Ventura. He came up young. He competed well, had great stuff. His first full year had a phenomenal year. Last year was a great experience year for him, because he had to face some adversity that he's never faced before at the big league level. Gave up some home runs early and learned how to deal with that.

This year he's bounced right back and had another phenomenal year for us. He's a guy that comes in very confident, trusts his stuff and goes right after you. And he's got an arm that bounces back, which is key for a guy in his line of work or in his spot in the bullpen. He's a guy that we use in the seventh inning. On most clubs, he'd be an eighth-inning or even a closer type guy. Very valuable to have.