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Oct.3 Ned Yost pregame interview

NED YOST:  Yes, Herrera's fine. He's got a slight flexor strain. They did the MRI, came out actually really, really good. No damage, not much fluid, very, very little fluid, which is great news.                

So we're going to reevaluate it on the off day tomorrow, and hopefully he's going to be available for Sunday, but we'll see.

Q. How are you doing?

NED YOST:  I'm doing great.

Q. So are some of the relievers who aren't here, are they at the complex?

NED YOST:  No, they're in Arizona.

Q. Right.

NED YOST:  Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Q. Just getting innings and staying sharp, I guess?

NED YOST:  Well, we were here, we sent them there. When we go back home, we'll go back home.

Q. That's Crow?

NED YOST:  Crow, Coleman, and Bueno.

Q. We talked a little about Nori's unorthodox approach at the plate. But last night he had a couple big catches but a couple sir cue Tuesday ways to the ball. Was he having trouble seeing?

NED YOST:  No, no, no, no. Nori's done a great job for us out in the outfield. He always finds a way to make the play. But at times the routes are a little bit adventurous.

But, again, the bottom line is he finds ways to make the play, and that's the majority of the reason why we defend late with Cain and Dyson. They've got tremendous speed out there. But Nori's done a great job for us in the outfield.

Q. Obviously a man danger would like to use his number one starter in the first game, but now that you've won the first game and you've got Shields held back for Game 3, how nice is that or how much of an advantage is that to have Shields waiting for you at home?

NED YOST:  Well, that's a nice advantage. You've got to -- we had to play that Wild Card game. It was an elimination game. We had to go with our best guy and kind of piece it together from there.                 

But to have him available in Game 3, when we looked at it, we thought it was the best-case scenario for us. If we could -- even if we split here, you go back and take a chance to take the lead at home with your number one guy. We like the way that it worked out.

Q. Greg just shared a little of his adventure yesterday getting here. You're locked into the game, obviously, but you need to know -- how did you keep posted on his status?

NED YOST:  I mean, I was locked into the game, but I was locked into where the heck he was too because it changes your whole -- once you start getting into the fourth and fifth inning your mind is thinking about pitching all the way through, trying to figure out how am I going to get to it?

Okay, am I going to have Holly or am I not going to have Holly?

He was supposed to be here at 3:00. Ended up last I heard, 6:00, and the game started, and it was like 7:00 is Holly here yet?

He's not here yet, and it's like the third inning. We get to the fourth inning, and now I'm okay, is he going to be able to get his routine done by the time the 9th inning comes along. I was relieved when he got here. I knew he had enough time to do what he needed to do to get ready to go down to the bullpen, and stepped right in and got a big save for us.

Q. Kelvin's been the 7th inning guy for the majority of the season. Is it now match-ups?

NED YOST:  Match-ups, yeah. Match-ups now. We'll just see where we're at. I mean, Ventura, if he takes us into the 7th inning, that will be great, but we can mix and match it, I think, between Frasor, Finnegan and Collins and go from there.

Q. What is the best play your defense has made for you this year? Anything stand out?

NED YOST:  The best play my defense has made?

Q. Yeah.

NED YOST:  Geez, I don't know. I'd have to think about that one. We made a bunch of great plays. We're very athletic as a defensive unit. Our outfield defense, man, as good as it comes. I don't know. We've made a bunch of them. There is not one that sticks out in the second game of a playoff where I'm just thinking about winning today. But we've had a bunch of them.

Q. You faced the righty Weaver yesterday, and righty Shoemaker today. When you go back, you'll face a tough lefty in Wilson. What does that do to a lineup facing a different approach like that and changes?

NED YOST:  This time of year we take each game game by game and starter by starter. The game tonight is going to be -- the stuff is going to be radically different than we saw last night. 

Shoemaker's a guy that is 93 mile an hour command guy on the corner, great split, good curveball, good slider. Really good command. Last night it was a lot of deception and really working the throttle. When you start looking soft, here comes an 87 mile an hour fastball that looks 95 with really good command. And a 70 mile an hour curveball.

They're all different, but you kind of -- we've seen their pitching enough this year to know probably what we're going to get. But if they're commanding the ball, it's going to be tough.

Q. Didn't get a chance to ask this last night, but it was obviously a really big spot in the game in the 6th with Vargas. Why did you decide to stick with him with all those righties?

NED YOST:  I liked his changeup. I liked the way he was throwing the ball. He had only given up two hits. He had two good at-bats against Kendrick, and we had Kel warming up in that spot. Normally when I'm convicted with what I'm going to do, by the time I'm halfway out there I'm making my call.

But if I don't do that, I want to see the look in his eyes. I want to see how he feels. I want to see how much conviction he has left, and there was all of that. It was all there. Luckily for us, the problem Kelvin had, we would have been in trouble if we brought Kelvin in in that spot. So kind of lucky right there.

Q. You've been in the last couple weeks especially more aggressive in using Kelvin and Wade out of their roles that they were in for most of the year. At what point did you feel that was necessary? Obviously, relievers like being in roles and having that structure. But at what point did you decide you had to change it up a little bit?

NED YOST:  We got down to the last two, two and a half weeks, and every game became a must-win situation. You get into a situation like that and you don't want to get beat without one of your best relievers on the mound.

So that's when it all started. We got into kind of playoff mode with two and a half weeks to go where every game was a must-win. We would do anything it would take to win a baseball game, and at times if you manage it right throughout the season. At the end of the year, they're ready to do that. So we felt like they all were, and they've all been really good at it.

Q. Staying with that, you guys came into September very inexperienced with a playoff push. Now with September and two playoff games, do you feel like this team of 25 guys are battle tested already?

NED YOST:  Already, yeah, yeah. After that game, going into that game everybody that follows us around always question, well, your team hasn't played good in front of big crowds, why is that?


How many times have we heard that?

Then we played the elimination game, Wild Card game, and look, that was a different group. I mean, that was an absolute different group. That was a group that went into that game like they had 50 games of postseason experience behind them, and they've taken it right into this series.

Q. What is your workout schedule for tomorrow?

NED YOST:  We're going to do an optional workout tomorrow at 4:00, so like I said, it's totally optional. We'll see who shows up. But we're getting in late. We had the workout here after flying in at 6:00 o'clock in the morning, and it was like a zombie workout. So we'll have one at 4:00 tomorrow and get some guys there for press availability and some guys might want to take some swings or take a few groundballs. Some guys will be in the training room.

Q. Just with Finnegan given his age and the innings he threw already this year, do you have to be more cautious about using him than with another reliever?

NED YOST:  Not this time of year. He's raring to go. We check with all our guys. We communicate every day on how they're feeling. We have a really good line of communication. But, no, this was all hands on deck.