With everything at stake, KC turns to ice-in-his-veins rookie Ventura

With everything at stake, KC turns to ice-in-his-veins rookie Ventura

Published Oct. 28, 2014 12:06 p.m. ET

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In a must-win game, the Royals will be turning to their rookie sensation, Yordano Ventura, to shut down the San Francisco Giants in Game 6 of the World Series tonight. And Royals manager Ned Yost has all the confidence in the world in his 23-year-old right-hander.

"What you worry about ... primarily with young pitchers is that they're going to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation," Yost said. "But I've got absolutely no concern that that's going to happen with (Ventura).

"We know what kind of stuff he has. We know his ability to compete. We know his athleticism on the mound. His confidence is just staggering. I mean, you walk in that clubhouse, and he looks you square in the eye with that glint that says, 'I'm ready for this.'

"So as manager, if you see somebody that's a little 'I don't know about this. I'm going to go out and give it my best,' it makes you a little nervous. But with Yordano, there is zero nervousness. I know he's going to go out and compete and do his best, and we'll take whatever comes with that."


Ventura assures everyone he won't leave anything on the table tonight.

"You never know what's going to happen, but everybody is going to give everything they have, go out there and fight, knowing that we're a good team with confidence," Ventura said through an interpreter. "The biggest goal is to not leave anything behind and to give everything you have, knowing that this could be the last game. We have all the confidence that we can go out there and win."

One possible advantage for the Royals in what amounts to an elimination game tonight -- the Royals trail, 3-2, in the Series -- is that they have been in this situation before with their Wild Card Game win over Oakland.

"You can draw from it a little bit," Yost said. "The kind of 'been there, done that' thing. I can't remember in my managerial career where I've been in an elimination game besides the Wild Card Game. I mean, that was a strange feeling.

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"But this feels different. At that time I felt like if we didn't win that game, that just getting to the Wild Card Game and us going home, we wouldn't have accomplished anything. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that we won that game, because I wanted to go farther. I wanted to feel like we accomplished something by at least getting into the Division Series.

"But this is a different feeling. Even though our backs are against the wall, what is so weird about it is it doesn't feel like our backs are against the wall. So that's a pretty good feeling."

You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at jeffreyflanagan6@gmail.com.