Oct. 31 Ned Yost pregame interview
Q. Just wondering how much you've had a chance to talk to Edi?
NED YOST: I haven't talked to him yet.
Q. I'm pretty sure last night you were not asked about Syndergaard's first pitch of the game. I assume you saw his postgame comments.
NED YOST: I did. I didn't expect him to throw a strike, but I didn't expect him to throw it under his chin, either. But we've got a few tricks up our sleeves, too. Let's go with that.
Q. His essential confession to that, does that make it better or worse in your eyes?
NED YOST: He didn't say that when Sal asked him when he walked up to the plate. I don't know.
Q. What did he say to Sal?
NED YOST: He just said that he wasn't trying to throw it up and under his chin, that he didn't mean to do it.
Q. But it got away from him?
NED YOST: Yeah.
Q. You think later he was trying to make it like --
NED YOST: I don't know.
Q. Your players' reaction was typically, like what you would expect - they were upset and said so, and "That's not the way to play the game" and things like that. Do you feel like they were -- Eric Hosmer said they were revved up by it in the early innings. Do you think this will have a carryover effect for your team?
NED YOST: No, no carryover.
Q. Are you still planning on Volquez pitching tomorrow?
NED YOST: I am, yeah. But I've got to sit down and talk to Edi. But we're still planning on him pitching tomorrow.
Q. You have talked volumes about the value of Volquez as a pitcher. Could you talk about his character, what happened to him and he's willing to come back here and pitch the next game.
NED YOST: Well, these are huge games. Edi's been with this team all year long. He's worked so hard to get to this point. And it was like Chris Young when his dad passed away. Chris just knew how proud his dad was of him and that his dad would want him to carry on. His dad would want him to be on that mound and helping his team win. And I imagine that Edi's dad would want the same thing for Edi.
Q. You had mentioned having a couple of tricks up your sleeve. Does that include throwing at or around a Mets player?
NED YOST: No.
Q. I know generally you guys kind of take some pride in never backing down from a challenge and rising to meet those sort of things. How much has that sort of character helped you guys when you're faced with the situation like last night, when you feel something wrong happened?
NED YOST: Well, our guys rally around each other. And it's just a dangerous spot to throw a ball, especially when you throw that hard. Throwing underneath somebody's chin, if it was intentional, not intentional, you know, it's just a bad spot. There's a lot of different places that you could throw that ball if you didn't want to throw a first-pitch strike.
But our guys rally around it. Our guys, they've been like that all year long. That kind of stuff, when that kind of stuff happens they always find a way to get fired up and kind of take care of it themselves on the field, not by throwing at people, but by swinging the bats and playing good defense.
Q. You said you hadn't talked to Edi. I'm curious, is there any concern that he's not going to make it?
NED YOST: Make what?
NED YOST: He'll be here tonight, yeah. He should be here anytime.
Q. Was there any explanation for Yordano's velocity dropping as drastically as it did?
NED YOST: Just one of those nights.
Q. Was it the mechanics?
NED YOST: No, his mechanics were fine.
Q. Last year without the DH you guys struggled a little bit in San Francisco. This year you had Morales out and lost last night. What's your feeling about, at least the World Series, should it be straight DH everywhere? Where would you stand on that?
NED YOST: Well, for me, I actually like the fact that the National League, the pitchers hit. But I think that American League teams aren't built for the National League game because we do have a DH. Where National League teams can input a DH, they're more apt to the American League game than the American League is to the National League game.
Some people say, Make it all DH. I don't really believe that. I think if a National League team is playing a National League team, you should play National League rules. But I wouldn't mind seeing in all Interleague games there being the DH. That's my personal opinion.
Q. But not in the World Series?
NED YOST: Yeah, the World Series is an Interleague game, isn't it? Yeah, yeah.
Q. You mentioned Chris Young pitching after his dad had died. And I wonder how much experience you've had when things like this occur, and whether players usually have any trouble focusing?
NED YOST: No, not Chris Young. Chris Young doesn't have problems focusing ever. He's an amazing competitor at the top of the class for me and terms of all the people -- all the players that I've ever had in terms of being a competitor. And to be able to just -- I mean, nothing affects him. He's going to go out and he's going to pitch his game under any circumstance, and we saw that the day after his dad passed away: He went out and threw five no hit innings.
It's tough, but Chris had that mindset that his dad would want him on that mound and he was going to go out and honor that.
Q. Have you had other instances besides Chris before, situations like this?
NED YOST: No, you know, it happened to Moose. Moose's mom passed away, and he stayed. He knew that his mom wanted him to stay and play baseball. And he's done a great job through all that, continuing to maintain his focus and playing at a very high level.
But going back, I really can't remember one instance where a player has lost somebody that close to him. Salvy a couple of years ago he lost his grandmother. His mom and his grandmother raised him, and that absolutely broke his heart. And it took him ten days before he could come back. It's tough. But you go out and honor them by performing.
Q. Just to get back to Morales and the DH situation, can you quantify in any way what not having him in the lineup does to your lineup? In these games in a National League park, you have him on the bench, you're looking for that one shot to use him. Is there a sense of frustration? Last night you didn't get to use him until the last inning, last batter. Frustrating to have that guy there and not use him?
NED YOST: No. Having him out of the lineup it's a very big run-producing bat that we don't have, but it's a very big run-producing bat that we have on the bench in a high-leverage situation.
The rules are the rules. So we play by the rules and try not to get too frustrated because I don't like the rules, they are what they are. We go play the game under the rules that were provided for us, and just look for spots for him to help us win a ballgame off the bench.
Q. Do you know if Volquez is able to throw at all, play catch, anything --
NED YOST: I haven't talked to Edi.
Q. Do you know if anyone else has?
NED YOST: No. He texted Dave and said he'd be in today. And that's the only communication we've had.
Q. Will you be keeping an extra close eye on him?
NED YOST: It's not a bad thing this time of year. Edi has logged over 200 innings in the regular season, and it's not going to affect him a bit.
Q. If throwing up and in is not an appropriate course of action for a pitcher to take, what is appropriate for someone who wants to make a hitter uncomfortable?
NED YOST: We talk about just moving your feet, anything from like here down, to back guys off the plate. You've seen us at times with Daniel Murphy pitch in on him, but it's never been up and in. It's always been right in here (indicating chest), in, to back him off the plate.
The game has changed so much from the way it used to be played. It was an acceptable thing to be able to move guys away, up top. And we've kind of gotten away from that now.
Q. What's the line of demarcation? Is it the chest?
NED YOST: Yeah, I think it's right about right here (indicating). When we start getting up around the head throwing that hard, that's dangerous stuff, man. It is. And there's times where it happens accidentally. But if you're trying to do it, that's not right. That's not acceptable because there's just too much that can happen. You can end a player's career by not intentionally hitting them in the head, but you miss by two, three, four inches and there you go.
Q. What's the availability of the bullpen tonight?
NED YOST: It's all available.
Q. How cognizant of tonight were you during yesterday's game as far as how you used those bullpen arms?
NED YOST: Totally cognizant (laughter).
Q. Is Medlen your long guy?
NED YOST: Yeah, Medlen is the long guy. Medlen hadn't thrown in ten days. We really needed an inning. He can come back and throw three innings today, if we need it, maybe even more. Everybody else we really wanted to -- our plan was to have Duffy get us out of that inning, Hoch throw one, Morales throw one, Herrera throw one and Madson throw one. And keep them all around that 15-pitch mark. But Franklin got in trouble, and kind of threw a monkey wrench in the whole thing, and we ended up having to use Medlen for one.
Everybody kept their pitch counts down. We made sure of that. We were ideally going to try to go five outs with Herrera. But he got his pitch count up around 15, 16. OK, well, then that's not going to work, if we want him available for today. We were really monitoring each and everybody's pitch counts, so that they would be totally available today.
Q. You faced the first three of the Mets rotation, your thoughts on Matz tonight?
NED YOST: Yeah, he's good, too. I mean, they're all good. They're all great starting pitchers. Matz has a tremendous fastball. He's got a swing-and-miss curveball. Like all World Series games, if he executes, he's going to be tough. And then that's the same thing with Chris Young. That's the same thing with Yordano Ventura last night. If he executes pitches, he's going to be tough. And he just struggled to execute pitches last night and they beat him around.
But Matz has got extremely good stuff. It's a tough four starting rotation. They're quality guys, all four of them.