Oct. 21: Ned Yost postgame interview

Oct. 21: Ned Yost postgame interview

Q. Ned, what did you see out of James tonight?

NED YOST: The first inning Blanco ends up flipping a ball out into centerfield. Panik does a great job of driving the ball deep; Blanco does a great job of tagging up. Posey got a base hit; Alex held him. The next two hitters in Sandoval and Pence, both guys, I don't think ‑‑ I can't say those pitches that Shields threw were mistakes. One was a ball down and Pence's was a ball up, but those guys are notorious bad‑ball hitters and they both put good swings on it.

He's down 3‑0, and then from that point ‑‑ it was okay in the second and third, but was laboring at times with the secondary stuff, commanding the secondary stuff. Normally when he's really, really good, he's spotting his fastball well and his changeup is dynamite, and he was really struggling to command his changeup tonight.

Q. He's still your Game 5 starter, right?

NED YOST:  Yeah.

Q. You guys are undefeated and 8‑0, but it's not like your games are easy. Every game you're in was a fight. Do you think that helps a lot with your resiliency coming back and losing the first one?

NED YOST: No doubt. We knew this series was going to be a battle, too. We didn't expect to come in here and sweep the San Francisco Giants. We knew that this was a series that was going to go deep. We know how tough they are. They swung the bats really well. Bumgarner, he was dynamite. I mean, man, was he good tonight. We had an opportunity in the third, and I was really impressed with the way he fed off our aggressiveness and just worked up the ladder to get out of that jam. But he was nails tonight.

Q. This is in addition to what you were just addressing, just that opportunity where you didn't score in the third: Not a lot of great opportunities. You see that one as the biggest missed one?

NED YOST:  Yeah, that was the biggest one. After Moose's double, we didn't have any opportunities to do anything from that point. He just held us down and did a great job of getting out in front, throwing strikes with really, really good stuff. And we just couldn't do anything with him tonight.

Q. What is the challenge of facing a bad‑ball hitter like Pence?

NED YOST: They're tough, man, Pence and Sandoval, both of them. You just have to mix your locations. You've got to mix your pitches. You've got to work inside, you've got to work down and away. You've got to work down, almost bouncing pitches at times. But his strike zone is so big, it's difficult. Difficult against a guy like him and Sandoval, especially from the left side.

Q. In three of James' four postseason starts his numbers haven't been as good as they were in the regular season. What makes you so confident that you can say without qualification he's the guy for Game 5?

NED YOST: Well, he's a guy that we've watched for two years. He's a guy that has a lot of ‑‑ he's very competitive, and he's a guy that when his stuff is right, he's dominant. He's like what you saw off Bumgarner tonight, that's James Shields.

I've been in this game a long time and I've seen guys struggle two, and three and four times and all of a sudden come out and throw a fantastic game. Jason Vargas has done it. You know, he struggled his four starts before his two playoff starts, and he's pitched great in the playoffs.

So this is a funny game. You can go out one night and give up seven runs and come back the next, your next five days around and throw a great game. But you have to know James Shields. You have to know that he's a tremendous competitor. He has the ability to make adjustments. Right now he just hasn't been as sharp as he has been. But with the extra rest and then coming back five days from now, we think will benefit him.

Q. What about Yordano's makeup makes you think that he'll respond well in a difficult spot tomorrow? And as far as his shoulder thing that he had his last outing, were there any concerns with that at all?

NED YOST:  No, no, no, no. His side sessions have been absolutely dynamite. He's a kid with tremendous composure. He's a tremendous competitor, even for as young as he is. I can't recall too many pitchers in my career that have his type of composure, his type of confidence, and his type of stuff at that young an age.

So we're really confident that he's going to come out and pitch a great game tomorrow.

Q. Obviously, if you have a chance to close the postseason series, you do it as quickly as possible. But do you think the long layoff in between the series might have affected your team and specifically maybe James Shields at all?

NED YOST:  No, no, I don't. The layoff was a layoff. There is nothing you can do about the layoff. I can't come in and say, "Look, five, six days, that's too much. We want to play in two." It is what it is, and you deal with it. I don't think the layoff had anything to do with the ballgame tonight.

I think what had a lot to do with the ballgame tonight was Madison Bumgarner. He was fantastic.

Q. Danny was rusty early but he seemed to find his command. Are you pretty happy with his outing today?

NED YOST:  Yeah, I was really happy with his outing. And what happens a little bit here, first inning in the World Series you're a little amped up and you've got to come out and you've got to get settled in. We were in that situation where we were down four, runners at first and second. And I didn't want to bring Finnegan in. I didn't want to bring Herrera in these games. Finnegan, Herrera, Davis, Holland, they could be in the next four out of five days. So we were going to try to finish it up with Danny Duffy and Collins and Frazier.

And once Danny got settled down and -- ended up getting the bunt; did a nice job. And then walking the next two hitters but was really, really good from that point on, until he got tired there at about the 60‑pitch mark.

Q. Your defense has been pretty stunning in the first couple of series, and then they were able to take the speed away, too, tonight. What were they able to do to disrupt that style?

NED YOST:  Well, we never got on base. That disrupts a lot of things when you don't get on base. The old adage is you can't steal first, and Bumgarner did a great job of keeping us off base. When you do that, we can't utilize our speed.

Q. To your point about Bumgarner, they made some pretty good defensive plays behind him, too. The catch by Blanco?

NED YOST:  Was huge.

Q. Right. Do you think they're fairly comparable to you guys in their defensive play?

NED YOST:  Absolutely. I absolutely do. That play that Blanco made on Hosmer, I didn't think there was any way he was going to catch that ball, and he ran it down and caught it, I mean, fairly easily, but it was still a spectacular play.

But, yes, I think if you look at both of these teams, I mean, we have an advantage in speed, I think, a little bit. But defensively, I think we're very evenly matched, very solid defenders. I think our bullpens are comparable. They've got a dynamite bullpen and their starting pitching is fairly solid.