I just wasn't going to take any chances. It's a big game. It's a pivotal game, in my mind. I was going to go with my bullpen, with Kelvin in the 6th, and mix and match the 7th, get to Wade in the 8th, and that's the way it worked out.
Q. You made some pretty drastic lineup changes going into this game. How gratifying was it for you to see it work out the way it did with Cain making those catches in right and Gordon coming through in the No. 2 spot for you?
NED YOST: I don't know if they were drastic lineup changes, but Gordon came through with a huge hit. Our focus here in this park, because it's a unique park, it's a big outfield, where we're going to put our best defensive outfield out there. That's Gordon in left, Dyson in center, Cain in right. Those guys have been doing that all year long. They just cover all kinds of ground out there.
I was really glad to see Gordy get the big hit. It was on a fastball. We were hope to get him more fastballs to hit. Hitting in the 2 spot and drove in a big run for us.
Q. Can you talk about where you think he was, when you were going to bring Finnegan in? You had two or three opportunities. You had the lefties at the top, you could have gotten Sandoval out and then the three guys. Did you want to get to those three guys?
NED YOST: Yeah, I wanted to get to those guys in that spot. I got all the confidence in the world in Herrera. His numbers will tell you why. You bring him in, and you're not anticipating him struggling with his command. Started struggling with his command. We got Finnegan up, but he ended up settling down really nicely and getting three ground balls. Getting us out of that sixth inning, and thought, okay, Pence is really, really tough. I really thought about bringing Finnegan in in the 7th inning, but Kelvin's been so good at dominating that 7th inning for him.
He came in. He said he felt great. He felt like he had made the adjustments mentally, that he'd be able to go out and throw a good inning for us. So we opted to do that. You know, I knew though we would have Finnegan there in case any trouble developed because of the lefties coming down the line.
Q. Can Davis be used for more than one inning?
NED YOST: He can be. I'd prefer not to. The reason why is Davis and Herrera ‑‑ Herrera's arm bounces back a little bit better than Davis's does. When you go out and throw an inning and then have to come down, sit down, and then get it cranked up again, it's easier on Kelvin to do it than it is Wade. Wade can do it, and I will do it if I need to do it. We've done it a number of times this year. But right now like tonight I felt like I had enough to get us through that 7th inning, to get us to Wade with a clean 8th.
Q. You said that Kelvin came in and said something that he mentally was better to put him back out there in the 7th. Can you expand on that?
NED YOST: No, I didn't say he felt mentally better. I said he felt like he made the adjustments in his mechanics that enabled him to go back out there and throw strikes. So, you know, when he first came in, his command was kind of all over the place, but then he settled down. I talked to Sal, I talked to Kel. I said, "How you feeling?" He said, "I feel great." I said, "Okay, you can give us a good inning?" He said, "Yeah, I made the adjustments I need to make."
Q. I'm sure that when you brought Kelvin in you knew he had a chance to hit in the next inning. What was your thinking on, A, not double‑switching and B ‑‑
NED YOST: To answer the first part of that, I wasn't going to double‑switch with Moose, not with the lead. I'm not doing that, and I'm not doing it with Hoz. So there was no spot to double‑switch, one.
Two, really my mindset was to bring Kelvin in, get him through that inning, and then maybe go to Finnegan in the 7th inning. But Kelvin came in after getting the 1, 2, 3. He's the guy that we've used multiple innings before. Guys had real success with it, I thought, okay, we're going to go ahead and use Kelvin. The 7th inning we are going to just let him hit.
We got the first two guys out, and of course, made two outs. Actually, I was hoping Dice would make an out there, but he steps up and foils my plan and gets a hit. So that's the way the National League game works.
Q. He's thrown 59 pitches now his last two outings?
NED YOST: Yeah.
Q. Do you anticipate he's available tomorrow?
NED YOST: Well, right now, I don't know. I'll see. I'll see how he feels tomorrow. Look, we're in the World Series. Everybody is available, but we don't want to be stupid either. He may be available for an out or I may not. He may just say, "You know what, I need a break."
The one thing that we do really well as a staff is we communicate. Our relievers and our starting pitchers know that we have complete trust in them. If they tell us they can't go, we trust it. We don't feel that they're soft. We don't feel like they're sissies. We know that they know their body.
We'll see how he feels tomorrow when he comes out and plays catch.
Q. How has Jeremy developed in the last few years to enable him to pitch a game like tonight or maybe early in his career?
NED YOST: I don't know. I didn't see him early in his career. I've just seen him the last three years. What you saw tonight is what I've seen just about every time he goes out on the mound in the last three years. He does his homework. He's prepared physically. His work ethic is tremendous. He's a tremendous competitor. He's not scared when he steps on the mound. He can command a baseball inside and out and he can change speeds extremely well, and that's what I've seen from him ever since we got him.
Q. Even going back to the Wild Card game, how important have those last three guys in the bullpen for you to get to where you are now?
NED YOST: Monstrous. I mean, probably the key factor in all of this for us is timely hitting, great defense, really solid starting pitching, but dynamic back of the bullpen.
Q. If Dyson had stolen second base there in the 7th inning, would you have pinch‑hit for Kelvin?
NED YOST: No, I would have still had Kelvin. That was one of those decisions that's tearing you apart. And I really wanted Dyson to go. I really did. That's one of those decisions. But I felt that sending Kelvin out for the 7th inning was going to be more important than trying to add a tack‑on run with our bullpen.
Q. You're watching Morse's at‑bat there and knowing he can only come up once. Made me wonder if the Giants are at a disadvantage not having a DH in this ballpark. You end up answering a lot of questions about the National League rules and everything. Do we overplay all of this? Is it still just good pitching against hitting? How do you feel about the whole debate of that regard?
NED YOST: It's a different game for sure. In the American League you don't have to worry about pinch‑hitting for a pitcher. You don't have to worry about when the pitcher spot is coming up, because he doesn't come up. So you put nine guys out there, you play the game. When your pitcher gets tired, you get him out and you put another pitcher in. But it still comes down to good pitching, good defense, and timely hitting. I mean, both games are exactly alike in that department.
Q. Eric Hosmer's 11‑pitch at‑bat in the sixth inning was pretty impressive. Does that show his growth as a hitter at all?
NED YOST: Yeah, I guess. I've always had a lot of confidence in Eric Hosmer and his hitting. I mean, that was a huge hit to finally break through and get the third run. It was a game‑winning run right there. But I think it's more a testament to his tenacity in that situation, where he was not going to give in, and he was going to give his club the best at‑bat that he possibly could. He kept fighting off pitches, kept fighting off pitches. He didn't get long. He didn't get strong. He was just trying to stay short up the middle, and finally got a pitch that he could do exactly that with.
Q. Ned, as that game went along, and there were a couple chances for Billy to pinch‑hit. You think about it, would it have been difficult to come in here if obviously you had lost the game and Billy hadn't had a chance to hit?
NED YOST: I didn't lose the game, so I don't think about that stuff.
Q. Given what you mentioned about how in the American League, of course, your pitchers don't bat. In this case they do in a National League park. A close win like this is this indicative of the way these games are going to go over the weekend?
NED YOST: Oh, yeah. This is the way our games have gone all year. I'm getting really good at protecting a one‑run lead because a lot of times that's exactly what we have to deal with. But I have the necessary tools to be able to do that. It's not me doing it. It's the guys that we put out there that are doing it. We have the type of pitchers in our bullpen that can accomplish that.