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October 16, 2015

Ned Yost

Kansas City, Missouri - Postgame one

Royals - 5

Blue Jays - 0

Q. How close did you come, if at all, to taking Eddie out there in the 6th?
NED YOST: I mean, one more guy got on, and we were going to go get him. Eddie was superb today, had everything going on, had his great fastball, locating well, really good curveball, really nice change-ups, on the attack from the first inning on. At that point we still liked his stuff. But if he lost that last hitter we were going to get Kel.

Q. Just the extra runs were why you put in Hoch for the 9th?
NED YOST: Wade is fine, but with the five-run lead, you want to keep one of the best relievers in the game as fresh as you can keep him. I felt like Hoch could get us through the inning and have Wade tomorrow.

Q. What was it like playing tonight with a lead? It hasn't happened so long with the team. Was it nice to get the runs early?
NED YOST: It hasn't happened in like a week, but, yeah, it was nice. It was nice against a team like that and the way that Eddie was throwing.

But even though you have a two- or three-run cushion, that club has the ability to put two or three runs up on the board in a heartbeat. So you're never comfortable.

You feel good about the way Eddie is throwing, and knowing that you've got Kelvin and Madson and Wade to get you through the last few innings, but it was nice to get a lead.

Q. I think that was a 37-pitch sixth inning, how challenging is it to try to go through that lineup a third time? It looked like he threw some great pitches. How much did he have to dig deep?
NED YOST: He did. He had to, and it is challenging to get through the lineup for the third time. I think he ended up walking -- who did he end up walking -- Donaldson and Bautista. He's not going to make a mistake. He's not going to fire a ball in the middle. And to their credit they laid off him.

But to come back and finally strike out Tulowitzki, that was a tough battle for them, too, but he was done at that point. But that was a great inning to cap off a great outing for him.

Q. You've got a lot of first-pitch big hits. And that thing with Escobar again happened. He swung at the first pitch of the game. Seems like a random thing, but incredible how that keeps happening.
NED YOST: We like Escobar in that one hole, because he can make things happen. Got the big double and we couldn't capitalize on it, got a big base hit there to drive in the first run the opposite way, Lorenzo Cain comes up and does the exact same thing. They're all kind of standing within themselves trying to take advantage of the pitch that's given to them, and great pieces of hitting to give us a 2-0 lead.

Q. What has Salvador Perez meant to your team on both sides of the ball and the toughness that he shows?
NED YOST: Yeah, he just takes a beating, just takes a beating. But I think everybody just feeds off his enthusiasm and energy that he brings to the ballpark every day. You could see early on that Salvador and Esky, they love to play baseball. They love playing this game. It's not a job to them, to the point where it's hard for us to try to talk them out of going home and playing winter ball as soon as we're done here. They just love it.

And it's infectious, their attitude and their enthusiasm and their passion for the game. That's why I think all the players can unite behind Salvador knowing that he helps bring the energy every single day.

Q. You put Escobar back in the lead spot late in the year, what is it that works for you?
NED YOST: I don't know. Statistically speaking it doesn't make any sense. It just doesn't. But it works. It works. We find ways to win baseball games. We were 32 games over .500 with him in the leadoff and I decided to move him down and we went 10-18. So as soon as I put him back in, the last 7 games he led off to end the season we won all 7 of them, at a time we needed to win them to accomplish our home-field advantage goal.

It's just the chemistry of the lineup somehow that is kind of unexplainable to me how it works and why it works, but it does.

Q. You hadn't hit Gordon and Rios 8th and 9th except once all year. What about this Postseason got you to put them down at that bottom part of the lineup?
NED YOST: We did that as soon as we put Escobar back, the last five games of the year we did that. I had Gordy up top, then when I put Esky back in the 1 hole, there was no place I could really put him. I didn't want to stack four lefties in the middle of the lineup right there. So I wanted to have some counterbalance in there with Salvador in the 7th hole.

It was just 8 and 9 were the two spots left open. And you sit and look at it and think how deep of a lineup it really is. You've got Gordy hitting 8th, you've got Rios hitting 9th, Salvy hitting 7th. There's no holes in that lineup, there's no dead spots in that lineup.

Q. The extent of the situation with Salvy there, with his finger or hand?
NED YOST: He's fine. He got hit with a back swing by Josh Donaldson on his hand and it hit him kind of right on the knuckles. But he kind of worked it off a little bit. It stings, it's a little bit of a bruise, but nothing that's going to slow him down.

Q. What do you think goes into that besides the maturity Salvador, his numbers have been increasing, his power numbers?
NED YOST: I just think a lot like we talked a little bit about that today, I just think that power kind of develops later for young players. You see Lorenzo Cain's numbers develop, power numbers develop. Salvador's power numbers are developing. They get up here and learn how to hit and learn how to hit with power. And I think that's just their development as players.

We said last year when everybody was talking about we don't hit home runs. I said we have the ability to hit homers. Salvador is a strong guy. And Cain can hit homers, and Hos and Mous and Gordy. And this year it's accelerated much more.

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