Q. Looking back at Yordano, I don't remember when the first time you saw him would have been. I'm just curious if you have quick first impressions of him. And maybe if there's a way you can summarize how you've seen his growth to now.
NED YOST: First time I remember seeing him was three years ago when he was in A‑ball in Spring Training. Dayton said, "Have you ever seen this kid throw?" I said, "No." And he said, "Stand right here and watch this kid throw." So I watched him throw. Went in the next day and then went to the minor league side, and said, "When is Ventura throwing again?" And there were numerous times that I would check to see when he was going to throw, get a golf cart, run up, watch him throw his side or a batting practice, or if I had the opportunity, a minor league game.
I was always impressed with his ability to throw strikes even at a young age, and his composure. He just always seemed very, very confident with himself. You know, you talk to a lot of young kids on the minor league side, especially A‑ball kids, they get a little intimidated. He never did.
Q. Could you describe or explain for us the differences, because each guy is different, obviously, in all of baseball, but between Herrera, Davis, and Holland in terms of their abilities to bounce back after maybe more than one inning and how you try to manage those situations?
NED YOST: Well, Herrera bounces back better than Wade and Holly, but Wade and Holly both are capable of going multiple innings if they need it, especially in a situation where you've got your back against the wall. Both guys know that we've got two games left ‑‑ I mean, all three guys know we've got two games left.
We came in to the locker room yesterday and Herrera and Holly came right into the weight room and said, "Look, all three of us are ready to give two innings apiece today. We'll do whatever we need to do to go get this thing." They're all more than willing and able to do it.
Q. Usually you worry about tomorrow tomorrow, but knowing that you do need to win 7 in addition to 6, how will that affect how you handle Game 6?
NED YOST: It won't. Game 7 is not even on my mind right now. We've got to win Game 6 and then worry about Game 7.
So you can't think about Game 7, even though I've got a real strong sense in my heart that we're going to be in Game 7, but I can't worry about Game 7. I've got to do everything I can to win Game 6 to get to 7.
Q. The last time you were in a do‑or‑die situation was the Wild Card game, where you had to win to go on. That turned out to be one of the most memorable games in the history of this organization. Can you draw from that win or is it necessary for pros to do this?
NED YOST: No, no, no, you can draw from it a little bit. The kind of been there, done that. I can't remember in my managerial career where I've been in an elimination game besides the Wild Card game. I mean, that was a strange feeling. One game, but this feels different. At that time I felt like if we didn't win that game, just getting to the Wild Card game and us going home, we wouldn't accomplish anything.
So there was a lot of ‑‑ I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that we won that game, because I wanted to go farther. I wanted to feel like we accomplished something by at least getting into the Division Series.
But this is a different feeling. Even though our backs are against the wall, what is so weird about it is it doesn't feel like our backs are against the wall. So that's a pretty good feeling.
Q. Just a follow‑up on Yordano, I'm not sure there is a guy you'd rather see out there tomorrow. Can you just describe that, why that is and what you've seen him blossom into the last few weeks or months?
NED YOST: What you worry about, I think, for most pitchers, we don't have anybody on our staff that does it, but primarily with young pitchers they're going to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation. I've got absolutely no concern that that's going to happen with him. We know what kind of stuff he has. We know his ability to compete. We know his athleticism on the mound. His confidence is just staggering. I mean, you walk in that clubhouse, and he looks you square in the eye with that glint that says, "I'm ready for this."
So as manager, if you see somebody that's a little "I don't know about this. I'm going to go out and give it my best," it makes you a little nervous. But with him, there is zero nervousness. I know he's going to go out and compete and do his best, and we'll take whatever comes with that.
Q. Just to follow up on something you just said, why doesn't it feel like your back is against the wall in this situation?
NED YOST: Because I think we're going to win. I mean, that's the way I feel. I've got that much confidence in our team. I've got that much confidence in Ventura. I just think we're going to go to Game 7.
Q. What have you done to keep Ventura this strong? I know a lot of young pitchers are pretty gassed by this point, and he still seems to be very strong.
NED YOST: He's one of those guys that's got one of those wiry bodies, kind of like Escobar. Escobar is an amazing player, and one of the things that makes him amazing is his durability and the fact that he does not wear down. This kid played every Major League game, started every Major League game. In times where I would try to get in blowouts, try to get guys out, I could very seldom get him out. So he played almost every inning of every Major League game that we've had this year.
It amazes me that his bat doesn't slow down. He doesn't lose a step. He just has that body that's able to endure. And Ventura has the same thing. He's got his arm bounces back extremely quick. He very seldom does he run into, after throwing, any type of stiffness or soreness. He's just got that special body to go with that special stuff.
Q. Certainly your offense was shut down last night because of Bumgarner, but beyond that I think it's only one time in the last 21 innings you've scored a run. What kind of different approaches can guys take specifically, maybe Gordon and Moustakas? Or is it just a case where it's Game 6 of the World Series and they just have to keep doing what they've done?
NED YOST: Yeah, Game 6 of the World Series, you keep doing what you've done. The key is, I don't care how many runs we score, just score one more run than they do. Get us into that 6th or 7th inning with a one‑ or two‑run lead and turn it over to the bullpen. That's the plan. I don't care.
People say, well, this guy's hitting .140 or he's hitting .130, I don't care. Everybody that is struggling to a point is still a threat. They can step up there in a big situation with one swing and change the ballgame.
That's all I look for. Just score one more run than they do. I don't care how we do it.
Q. To that offense, you obviously had had a lot of success with the lineup you've run out ever since September 21st. You had to change that to go to San Francisco. Safe assumption you're going back to that? If so, how important is it to get back to that?
NED YOST: We're going back to those players. Nori will be back in right field. Billy will be back in the DH spot. I don't know, I'm debating, I don't know if Moose is going to hit 9th or not, but the same players will be involved. We're still kind of mulling it, we might move Moose up a little bit because he is swinging the bat better, but we might not, too.
Q. Is that a big boost getting those guys back in there?
NED YOST: I think it's a big boost getting Nori's offense back in there. And obviously, it's a big boost getting Billy back in there. We all know what Billy does in our lineup. He's a pretty key component to our offensive lineup, so it's big getting him back in there.
Q. Raul Ibañez seems to have been pretty involved with your team, even though he hasn't been on the roster. What kind of impact do you think he's had on the younger players?
NED YOST: Hume impact. Huge impact. The chemistry factor he brings into our locker room, his ability to communicate with our young players, to be a part of all of this intricately, not just from aside, he is so involved in everything that we do inside that clubhouse. During the game, he's on the bench, he's talking, he's rooting. I looked down in the cage a couple times, and he's in soft‑tossing guys, getting guys ready for pinch‑hit opportunities.
He's just been phenomenal. We all know how much class this guy's got, but in terms of a teammate and a guy to have on your club, he ranks right up there for me of all‑time guys. All‑time best guys that you love having on your club.
Q. What has made Pence such a ridiculously tough out in this series?
NED YOST: You know what, he is so funky with his swing that he's a guy ‑‑ like last night when Shields, that ball that he hit in the first inning, that ball was a perfectly executed changeup, down and away, maybe on the corner or a little bit off the corner. He throws his butt out, and all of a sudden the bat head whips through like it's a hurricane, and hits the ball so hard it shoots right by Escobar. You get a ball up, and he slashes the ball into the right‑center field gap as viciously as anybody in the Major Leagues can do it.
He's just got a very unique swing, but his hand‑eye coordination is phenomenal. His ability to hit pitches that aren't strikes is way above average, and he puts the bat head on the ball. He's tremendously strong. Got really good hands. You sure wouldn't teach anybody his swing. But this guy, every time he walks up, I'm just hoping that we can get him out and he can go sit down for another eight guys. He's a threat.
Their three, four, five guys that you can breathe a little bit once you get past those guys, because all three of those guys, Posey, Sandoval and Pence, and I'm not saying that the other guys aren't, but those guys are knockout threats.
Q. With the last tough 24 hours with the tragic death of Taveras, do you see that it can be a teaching moment in terms of enjoying every minute?
NED YOST: I don't know. Maybe down the road it is. This hurts. This hurts everybody. A kid this young, for something like this to happen. I think we were all shocked when we heard about it, and we're still shocked. Then you look back on your club, and what if this happened to one of your young players on your club? You just know what the Cardinals are going through.
Yeah, maybe down the road a little bit once you know you can slow down and think about it, and all the details come out to exactly what happened. But right now I just think everybody's just really, really saddened and shocked by this whole thing. It put a damper on everything, even the joy of the World Series last night. When you hear something like that, it's like man, oh, man, to fly back and think about that. It was just a sad, sad, sad thing.
Q. Nori will be back to the No. 2 spot in the lineup?
NED YOST: Yes. Yes, we're going to put Nori back in the 2 spot tomorrow.