Oct. 29 Terry Francona postgame interview

October 30th, 2016

Q. Terry, you agonized over taking out Napoli. How relieved were you when Santana hit the home run?

TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, I thought Carlos swung the bat really well. I still wasn't pleased that Nap didn't play, because like the things we talked about before the game, he's kind of the heart and soul of our team. But he'll be in there tomorrow. His one at-bat, he took a really good swing that, I think, should help make him feel a little better going into tomorrow.

Q. How would you compare Kluber tonight to Game 1? Also, did you think about not using Miller after the Kipnis home run?

TERRY FRANCONA: No, no. A win is -- I mean, I think you have to respect who you're playing and what they can do.

I thought Kluber was tremendous. I thought he had to work early. He didn't have his best breaking ball. I thought later in the game he sort of defined it, actually. I think in a perfect world we wanted to keep him around 80. We were fortunate enough to be able to do that. But I think he's proving over and over just how good he is.

Q. Following up on Kluber, you've seen a lot of dominant postseason performances in your career. With what he's done, 0.89 ERA the entire postseason, how does it stack up with some of the best you've ever been a part of?

TERRY FRANCONA: I knew you were going to say that. I'm not good at doing that. What matters right now is we're doing this right now, and that's what's important to us. That's fun stuff for you guys to talk about. And I don't blame you. It's really cool.

What I care about is us finding ways to win, and I know that when he pitches, we feel really good. I mean, he works so hard to be good. It's nice to see him be rewarded for it.

Q. Just in general, how do you feel about the situation? When you're in a situation and there's an elimination game, does Boston 2004 enter your mind?

TERRY FRANCONA: We're up. We're not down. I think you got it reversed. Nothing changes. We're going to show up tomorrow -- the only thing that changes is we'll pack our bags, because we're going to go home one way or the other, and we'll show up and try to beat a really good pitcher tomorrow and that's what we always do. Nothing needs to change.

Q. A follow-up on that, do you tell the team anything? They know they're in their position, obviously. They know they're one win away from the ultimate goal. Do you tell the team anything to calm them down, to tell them to take it like a regular game? Do you do anything like that?

TERRY FRANCONA: No, it might make them nervous. They're doing fine. They're okay. They know how to play the game. In our game, you can't meet every night. It's not like football. If they don't understand by now, they're probably not gonna. And I think they're doing just fine.

I mean, we've had games where we haven't hit the ball really well, but we've still competed and found ways to win. Tonight we've got some really big hits in key situations and spread it out a little bit. But, I mean, they don't need a talking to. They're doing just fine.

Q. You clinched the series in Toronto with and a whole lot of bullpen. Can you be super aggressive tomorrow with the way that you handle your pitching staff, especially with all the guys that you have available that didn't pitch tonight, and Miller's gone the last two days, I assume that he's still available and pretty much everybody is ready to be used to try to close this out?

TERRY FRANCONA: Our goal tomorrow is to win, and if we have a chance to win, we'll certainly -- and we have a day off, so do the Cubs, so again, we'll do whatever's in our best interest to try to win the game, just like all the time.

Q. I understand your point about wanting to win tonight and using Miller for two innings, but how do you balance that in your mind against maybe wanting to use him tomorrow?

TERRY FRANCONA: He'll be able to be used tomorrow, and we might flip-flop he and Cody tomorrow. Let Cody do some of what maybe Andrew's been doing. We'll see how the game's going.

I mean, as good as Andrew is, there's a lot of other guys down there that have done a really good job.

Q. You faced three of the very best lineups in baseball so far this October, and I think a lot of people questioned if you had enough pitching coming into the postseason to get this far. Are you surprised at all at just how well you guys have pitched all three of these teams?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I mean, I think our guys have done terrific. But I think the people that are surprised don't know our pitchers very well. I think, again, we're proud of them, and we have a ways to go. We're not done. But, no, they've done terrific. Like I said, we still have work to do. But there was a reason they're pitching.