Oct. 25 Terry Francona postgame interview

October 26th, 2016

Q. Terry, , what is it about him in pressure situations? He just seems to rise to the occasion and not blink.

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I think he's a good pitcher all the time. I mean, I think for the last three years he's been pretty good. But to your point, in these playoffs he's been about as good as -- and we need him and we're going to need him more. But he prepares so hard and we're talking about before the game his routines and his work ethic. That's why, here late into October, and the needle on the gas tank doesn't point towards empty.

Q. You mentioned you're going to need him more, did that go into the thinking, especially because you have Miller, to take him out after 88 pitches? Hey, can I have my cake and eat it too kind of situation?

TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know about that. But it was definitely -- he knew it too, when I was coming out there. Because I thought he had more in him. Didn't want him to -- you know, you start getting up towards 90, he was going through the middle of the order, that's when you really have to exert. And because we had Miller hot, I thought well, I guess, yeah, you could have your cake and eat it. I guess that is true, yeah, because we're planning on bringing him back. So I didn't want to overextend him.

Q. What can you say, first of all, about Roberto what he brought offensively tonight, I mean, out of the nine hole and what he's done, given the way the season's gone? And on top of that, once again, just his pitch framing? There were so many called strikes, it seemed like he played a pretty good role in that.

TERRY FRANCONA: His hands are so soft, and I think he's confident to boot. That's a good combination. I mean, what he did at the plate tonight, my goodness, that was exciting to watch. It gave us a cushion early. And then late, come spread it out. In the 7th or 8th inning, that wasn't looking like a 6-0 game. So it's nice anytime. Everybody was happy for him. You could see the way everybody reacted to it.

Q. What was Kluber doing to keep Bryant and Rizzo off balance? He mixed up his pitches, did so well. How does that carry on with your other pitchers in the series?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I mean, they're not going to have the same pitches he does. I thought he had tremendous movement. When Kluber's going good, he's got such good late movement both fastball and breaking ball, and I thought he had both tonight. I mean, his balls had extremely good movement tonight.

Q. I think you got two runs in the first inning with only one ball leaving the infield. Can you talk about the importance of some small ball and getting an early lead on a pitcher like .

TERRY FRANCONA: There is an importance on small ball, but you can't try to hit a swinging bunt. That's a little bit of good fortune. Then Guyer got hit, which he is really good at. That happens to him a lot. He's up on the plate and he doesn't get out of the way. But leading up to that, we took some walks. We didn't go out of the zone. So sometimes you get rewarded when you have base runners.

Q. With the amount that Andrew pitched tonight, will you be able to turn to him tomorrow? How much do you think you could get out of him?

TERRY FRANCONA: You know, I don't know. This was kind of reminiscent of the first Boston game where he threw 40, 41-plus, and he was ready to come back and pitch the next night. I just think that there's a lot that can happen tomorrow. One, we might not have the lead. Two, it might rain. Three, we could have a lead and he won't be available for as much.

But we won tonight. I think when you have a lead, you try to win.

Q. Roberto's been doing so well behind the plate, but do you think just the offensive night like this will even, I don't know, light him up and help his confidence, or do you think he was already there?

TERRY FRANCONA: No, I think he feels pretty good. I think this time of year every game means so much. You know, you can take an O-fer, and you don't see guys coming off the field. Wins are so important right now, and one swing can swing a game. I think everybody knows that now. We didn't have a ton of hits throughout the lineup. We had three or four guys that had all our hits. But you don't see anybody in there that's down on themselves or anything, because we're going to need everybody before it's over.

Q. As tomorrow it may rain so they changed the game time, just your reaction to that, and did it surprise you that they made that move?

TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, I don't know. Shoot, it just means we start an hour earlier. We can handle that. I don't care what time they tell us to play. I'm sure they have good reason. If it's supposed to rain late, I don't really have a reaction. I'm going to be here anyway by 10:00. So it doesn't really matter.