Ned Yost media session: August 19
The good starting pitching that the Royals have been getting recently was the first topic of discussion when manager Ned Yost met with the media this morning. Kansas City has received a quality start from each of the five starters in their rotation during this homestand dating back to Tuesday night. Ned has said starting pitching is extremely important for a team and the fact that the rotation is putting up good starts has been vital in their success lately and he looks for it to continue. The Royals’ starters have gone 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA, allowing nine earned runs in 34.0 innings while limiting opposing hitters to a .178 batting average (21-118) over the past five games. Over the month of August, KC is 11-6 with currently the second-best ERA in the American League at 3.12. The Royals are looking for Jeremy Guthrie to continue the trend he started on Tuesday and continue his own streak of scoreless innings as he enters today sitting at 15.0 straight without surrendering a run.
The next topic involved what the Royals, a younger team, will take away from this season, what lessons can be learned and what they can do to continue and improve upon the way they have been playing in the month of August. Ned said this is a chance to teach these kids what the game is about how to be able to go out over the course of 162 games and manage failure. He said that is the biggest lesson any of these guys are going to learn this season. He gave the example that if you are a .300 hitter, which is very good for a Major Leaguer, you will fail seven times out of 10. When a team is at their absolute best, they are going to lose 50-60 games a year and you have to be able to deal with the losing and the failing. He said when you step on the field you have to play your heart out and give it your best, but when you walk back up those steps to go in that clubhouse you have to let whatever happened between the foul lines that day go. He said you cannot dwell on it or harbor it, you have to be able to play the game mentally free and physically ready to be at the top of your game. He then said all the players have a deep desire and at times they put too much pressure on themselves and that is counterproductive. He finished by saying since about the end of July and through this month so far, they have started playing more relaxed and using their talents in a more positive way and it is showing.
Alcides Escobar’s four infield singles last night was the final topic discussed by the media with Ned. It was the first time a player in Major League Baseball collected four singles without any of them leaving the infield in one game since Chicago’s Robbie Alomar did it August 20, 2003. Yost said Esky was able to do it because of his superb speed. He said Esky is able to hit it where they cannot throw him out because of how quickly he gets out of the batter’s box and down the line.