Ned Yost is Managing Circles Around the Postseason
By David Hill
He has been referred to as the village idiot. He has seemingly been on the chopping block for much of his tenure with the Royals, even as recently as the end of July. He has made numerous statements that make people scratch their heads in confusion. And now, with the Kansas City Royals in the World Series, Ned Yost is hitting on all cylinders.
Opposed by three of the supposed best managers in the game in Mike Scioscia, Buck Showalter and Bruce Bochy, Yost has been managing circles around them. Seemingly every move he has made, or in some cases has not made, has worked. He is on a run right now the likes of which probably has not been seen in decades in Kansas City.
Just look at his moves last night. First, Ned Yost put in his all world defensive outfield, starting Jarrod Dyson in center and moving Lorenzo Cain to right. That move paid off almost immediately, as Cain made two excellent plays in right t end the first two innings of the game.
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Then came Yost’s lineup configuration. Alex Gordon, who had been hitting sixth in the first two games, was moved up to the second spot. Naturally, Gordon hit an RBI double and later scored the third Royals run. Prior to that sixth inning at bat? Gordon had been 0-9 in the series.
Ned Yost also made the decision to bat Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas back to back in the order. Despite typically splitting sides in the batting order, Yost let those two hit together, seemingly with the thought that the Royals could jump on Tim Hudson before the bullpen would factor in. Instead, Hosmer, who was also without a hit this postseason, singled off lefty specialist Javier Lopez to drive in Gordon with the third run.
Yost also made the decision to let both Jeremy Guthrie and Kelvin Herrera hit in the top of the sixth and seventh innings. For Herrera, it was his first professional at bat. Both pitchers faced two batters before being relieved. After Herrera got that first out of the inning, Yost called on Brandon Finnegan, as he became the first player to appear in the College World Series and the MLB World Series in the same year. Naturally, the moves worked.
Ever since the Royals fell behind 7-3 in the Wild Card Game, Ned Yost has managed circles around the opposition. Of all the surprises that the Royals have produced this postseason, Ned Yost turning into one of the best managers in the game may be one of the biggest.