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October 22, 2015

Ned Yost

Kansas City, Missouri - Workout Day

Q. You guys have been really good offensively late in the game in the Postseason. Is there any explanation for that, more focus?
NED YOST: No, I think we continued to focus on our at-bats. There's a lot of determination in that dugout and they just stay focused is what they do.

A lot of times starters, you know, they start out really good and you catch a little bit of a break if they start to tire a little bit and maybe take advantage of some of those situations.

But I think it's the ability to stay focused and the ability to keep pushing.

Q. Wade Davis, he's kind of a straightforward, no-nonsense guy. Is it a good way to describe his pitching, as well?
NED YOST: Yeah, yeah, exactly. He's very intense on the mound, but you can't really -- he doesn't have the Al Hrabosky dance around the mound stuff.

Shields had him pegged perfectly when he was in Tampa, they called him the "Silent Assassin." And that's kind of what he is. He goes out with no emotion, comes at you with great stuff.

Q. Bautista has drawn a lot of walks in this series, and he talked last night about he doesn't feel like he's got many pitches to hit so far in this series. Is he a guy you pinpointed as somebody you don't want to beat or don't want to take a chance behind him?
NED YOST: That's a good question. You've got three guys -- well, you've got more than three guys, but you've got three guys in the top of that lineup with Donaldson and Bautista and Encarnacion that can do a lot of damage with one swing. So you're kind of playing with fire a little bit pitching around any of those guys with those guys behind them.

But what you try to do, you continue to try to make good pitches and nullify their power. You can't give in in situations and just 3-1, 2-1, say, Okay, here it is, hit it. That doesn't work with those guys because they do hit it a long way.

So you have to have that mindset that I'm not giving in. I'm going to make my pitch. And if I don't make my pitch, I'm going to try to eliminate as much damage as you can, and end up giving a walk instead of a homer.

But if you continue to execute pitches you're going to be in good shape.

Q. Has Encarnacion not being a hundred percent made you more willing to pitch around Jose?
NED YOST: Encarnacion is dangerous.

Q. Can you give your evaluation of how you've seen Ventura, and is there an explanation how you guys always manage to win his starts, even though he doesn't?
NED YOST: Well, he keeps us in the game. But in these types of games you feel real good with him going, even though he's a young guy. He's got a lot of confidence in his abilities, he's got a lot of confidence in his stuff. And you know the moment is not going to overwhelm him.

He's gotten past all that. He's learned some great lessons this year, about how to handle adversity and how to be a No. 1 guy. We saw it last year during the playoffs, just kind of found a way to take his game to just a little bit of a different level. We expect him to do that tomorrow.

We know that he's got a 97 to 99 mile an hour fastball. The thing that's going to be key to him is commanding his secondary pitches. If he can command his curveball and changeup, man, he's tough.

Q. I wonder if you can give us a scouting report on what you expect from Price. You saw him with Detroit. What did he look like early, and then last Saturday?
NED YOST: He gave up a hit on the first pitch, and then didn't give up another hit until the seventh inning. He's a guy that's in the top five in the voting for Cy Young. He's a tough matchup. We're just going to have to hope that we can take advantage of mistakes, if he makes any, and just keep battling. Do whatever it takes to get on base.

Q. Backing up on that, what can you take away from the seventh inning against Price the first time around to build on for tomorrow?
NED YOST: Nothing.

Q. Nothing changed for you guys?
NED YOST: No, we just found holes. It was really tough to see, all right, that game. It was a 3:00 game, shadows were brutal until about the seventh inning. And at that point he was up around the 90-pitch mark.

But the problem that you run into is that you don't know from day-to-day what you're going to get. Johnny Cueto comes out and throws a phenomenal game in Game 5 and then struggles to get the ball down in Game 3. You just don't know.

So you go back on track record and see what he's capable of doing. And when he's on, he's as tough as any pitcher in this League. So you just have to hope that day maybe he's going to make a mistake or two and you don't miss it.

Q. What have you learned about Kendrys as a player, having managed him for some time that you didn't know before? Has he exceeded expectations at all?
NED YOST: Well, yeah. We'd hoped that he'd be really, really good, and he has been. But what's impressed me most is his right-handed swing. When we played against him when he was on opposite teams in the past, I always try to do everything I could to get him to hit right-handed. I always thought that going into this season that right-handed might be a weaker side than his left side, but that's not proven to be true. He's been every bit as dangerous right-handed as left-handed.

I've got just as much confidence any time he steps on the plate on either side of the plate, right-handed or left-handed.

Q. What is it about the Postseason that Escobar seems to embrace? He seems to be the one guy from '14 to '15 he stayed hot?
NED YOST: Yeah, what he does, I think, is that he really intensifies his focus. I think he's such a talented player. But with the grind of 162-game season, there are little periods where his focus will tend to waiver a little bit. But during the playoffs he just locks in. And when he's focused he's as good as any player in the League in his position.

Defensively and offensively, he's a bit of a catalyst at the top of the order because he's getting on base. He's swinging at decent pitches, he's working himself into great counts. I think more than anything else he just raises his game this time of year because of his focus, he just intensifies his focus.

Q. The Mets find themselves in similar situations with the long layoff before the Series. What were the pros and cons of having that much time?
NED YOST: The pros are you can sit back and dig yourself for a couple of days, and that's always fun to know, right? And the cons are you just get anxious to go. You've got to throw maybe some simulated games in batting practice to keep guys sharp.

I don't see where there's too many cons. They're going to the World Series. They're excited. Their workouts are going to be fun and spirited. But once the game starts, again, the Postseason is so much different than the regular season they'll be ready to go.

Q. Just looking back to yesterday, I don't know if there was confusion after the game about was there an apology for the called third strike or not called third strike against Bautista?
NED YOST: I don't know anything about it. I heard something about it, but I didn't ask Sal, I didn't ask Eddie what was said or anything about that. I don't know.

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