Oct. 20: Ned Yost Pregame Interview
Q. Do you believe in momentum from game to game in baseball at all or within games?
NED YOST: No. Within games a little bit. You can gain some momentum a little bit. But the old adage is: Momentum is as good as your starting pitcher. We feel pretty good about Chris Young.
Q. Sal has been pretty beat up in the playoffs. How is he feeling, worried at all about him?
NED YOST: No, he's fine. Little nicks and dings that all catchers get. He shrugs them off pretty quick. Nothing that's going to affect him in any shape or form.
Q. As far as the pitching matchup tomorrow, Edinson told us he and Salvy switched the game plan basically walking out of the bullpen before the game. How often does that happen?
NED YOST: It happens.
Q. Do you give them the freedom to do that?
NED YOST: It happens every day. That's not a major thing. You sit down as a pitcher, catcher, and staff, you go over your game plan. Once you get in the bullpen, you figure out what's working and what's not.
If you have all three of your pitches working, which is pretty rare, but Eddie did that night, he was really comfortable throwing the ball down and away and was doing it to a high degree. It's like, Okay, let's see how this goes.
There's days where you go out and may want to attack with your fastball, but your curveball and your change-up is better, in terms of commanding it. You change your game plan until it comes back. So that happens quite a bit.
Q. Escobar is 7-for-12 in the series. I asked you something similar a couple of weeks ago. Is there anything to the idea that something unlocked or he was released after the regular season to free his mind?
NED YOST: No, I don't think so. I just think that Esky is a big game player. I really do. I think the bigger the stage, the bigger the circumstances, the better that he gets.
Through the course of a 162-game season, that's a grind and you kind of work through it every day. But once you get into the playoffs and every pitch is magnified, he just kind of rises to the occasion in these scenarios. Had a great Postseason last year, and having a great one this year.
Q. Back to Volquez, is it asking too much of him to be every bit as good in Game 5 as he was in Game 1?
NED YOST: You hope that he can be. He's proven that he's capable of doing it. That's why this game is so wonderful, it's not a cookie cutter game. You don't know what you're going to get until you get out there, find out what's working and how your command is, and if you're duplicating your mechanics, and being able to repeat. We'll find out tomorrow.
Q. How tough is it for a pitcher, they just saw him a few days ago, to come back again?
NED YOST: It's the same for both teams. We face Estrada again tomorrow.
But it's not that tough, especially in this situation. You get a pretty good idea what you need to do. Now the tough part is going out and executing, doing it again.
Q. Kauffman Stadium is considered a pitcher's park, where Rogers Centre is much more of a hitter's park. How much do you have to change your game plan based on the stadium?
NED YOST: We don't change our game plan, we go about it the same way. Again, it boils down to execution. If you're executing your pitches where you want, you're going to nullify the power. You're going to keep them more off balance. If you're not, last night, we didn't execute. And today if we execute it's going to be a different story.
Q. Johnny had thrown very well before last night's start and Edinson was outstanding in his previous start. When a guy was that good in his previous game, does that change at all the way you might look at taking him out of a game or approach handling him in the subsequent games?
NED YOST: Again, we go pitch to pitch with it. Somebody asked me last night, did you think about taking him out a couple of hitters earlier, that meant I would have taken him out in the second inning with a runner on first. The three-run homer killed him. That's what hurt him.
But you just go inning by inning, see how he's executing, see what his pitch life is like; the action on his curveball, is he locating his change-up, is he keeping the ball down. And all those things go into your decision making, if you're going to pull him earlier, if you're going to pull him a little bit later.
Q. Johnny mentioned the difference trying to adjust from the bullpen mound to the game mound. How difficult is that adjusting?
NED YOST: Well, you know, it's difficult at times, you know, but I don't think Kris Medlen had any trouble adjusting, it was Johnny that had trouble adjusting to it. But those were all adjustments that you have to make if you're going to be successful.
Q. You've called Escobar a big game player. Can you speak further about that?
NED YOST: You know, it's his ability to produce in this type of spotlight. I don't know if his focus intensifies. He's always been a great player. He's always been a special player. He's a guy that can play every single day. He's a tremendous defender, he's a great baserunner. The things that get a little inconsistent sometimes is his offense and approach at the plate.
When the pressure seems to get a little bit or mount a little bit is when he plays his best baseball, where he really focuses on getting the job done. And he does just a great job at it.
But all our guys have done a great job of that, starting from the Wild Card game last year. In big games they don't panic, they continue to focus and continue to fight hard.