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Oct. 5 Terry Francona postgame interview

October 5, 2017

Q. Terry, genius move starting Trevor Bauer tonight. Your thoughts on that -- now that the game's over, you obviously saw something maybe that others didn't see, being around him all year and in the second half. What was that?TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, boy, we went through the whole thing before

Q. Terry, genius move starting Trevor Bauer tonight. Your thoughts on that -- now that the game's over, you obviously saw something maybe that others didn't see, being around him all year and in the second half. What was that?
TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, boy, we went through the whole thing before the game. Nothing changed. I mean, for all the reasons that I said. I mean, Trevor pitched a very good game. But if he hadn't, it wouldn't change how we felt for all the reasons we spoke about.

But I thought Trevor from pitch 1 -- you know, he had his breaking ball early, and he had a good one. He had his life on his fastball. He pitched in. I thought he pitched a terrific game.

Q. Terry, how much is the no-hitter factor in your decision making, if at all? Versus the pitch count.
TERRY FRANCONA: No, we're trying to win the game. We're trying to win the game. I was not thinking about that one time. What I was thinking about is when runners start to get on, looking at Judge and Sanchez and trying to keep the tying run from being at the plate. That was our main focus.

Video: NYY@CLE Gm1: Francona on Bauer, Bruce's performances

Q. What was your view on Bruce's home run? Did you think that was going out off the bat?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I mean, I was blowing on it, so probably got some help. Yeah, I think so. He's a pretty strong kid. You know, he took such a good swing the first at bat when he drove that ball to left field. More often than not, when a guy hits the ball the other way with authority, he's on balance, and he's doing some things right. Good thing he showed up tonight because he drove in all our runs.

And I thought for -- I think we only had five hits, but we did a good job of staying after them. The first five, six innings, we were at least staying after them. We didn't get a real big hit to break it open, but we kept pressuring them.

Q. Tito, you might have been a little caught off guard by the fact that there was sort of preliminary second guessing about your decision, but as a manager, have you gotten better over time -- or going with your convictions, I guess, is it easier over time when you have experience? Rather than worrying about what other people might think.
TERRY FRANCONA: You know what, I kind of live by you do what you think is right, and you answer the questions, and then in the morning I don't run to see how I'm being perceived. You have to have the confidence of what you're doing. And it's not always going to work. We can't win every game. But I was completely comfortable with our decision to do what we did for a number of reasons.

Now, it's awful nice when Trevor goes out and pitches like he does, but I wouldn't have felt any different if they would have beat him.

Q. Terry, you had talked about possibly Bauer coming back later in the series. Does the fact he went a little deeper maybe than you expected tonight change anything?
TERRY FRANCONA: No. We'll adjust his routine, and obviously we'll check with him and see how he's feeling. But throwing's never been much of a hurdle for him. He's pretty resilient. And we'll alter his program. He's not going to have a side day like normal, things like that. And then we'll see when he feels like he could be available.

Q. Terry, going back to Jay Bruce for a quick minute, I know that he came in, and he didn't have a lot of postseason experience, but he came through in a big way for you guys. Talk to me a little about that.
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I mean, he's been in the postseason a few times back with Cincinnati. So I think he -- I think he's excited for the opportunity, but I don't -- he's a veteran guy. I don't think a game like tonight is going to be too big for him. I think he was more excited than anything.

Q. Kip joked the first game you played him in center field he didn't get a ball, and as soon as he went out, Greg got two. You didn't have to wait long tonight to get tested. What did you think of the play he made?
TERRY FRANCONA: I thought that was good, not only for getting an out, but I thought it was good for his confidence. Again, we wouldn't put him out there if we didn't think it was going to be fine, but it was still a nice play.

Q. Kind of stole my thunder, but I wanted to ask about the progression of Jason Kipnis and the great play he made tonight.
TERRY FRANCONA: What do you mean about progression?

Q. The progression of how he's progressing in centerfield.
TERRY FRANCONA: He's worked really hard at it every day, and he's been really conscientious about his work, and from the very first day, Millsy, who's been with him every day, said he's going to be just fine.

Q. You've said multiple times that Trevor doesn't back down from challenges. What did you think of his composure in some of those moments after giving up the hit and then the battle with Judge?
TERRY FRANCONA: I thought he pitched his heart out. I thought, when the moment arose, he attacked it. He embraced everything that was thrown at him tonight. His poise was tremendous. I mean, all the way around, he attacked the strike zone with all his pitches. He pitched in enough to get those big strong guys from getting extended, and he had a great breaking ball.

Q. Terry, what did you say to Trevor when you met him on the mound to take the ball? Is did you get a chance to say anything to him after the game if you didn't there?
TERRY FRANCONA: I just said, Way to go, kid. I mean, that was pretty good pitching. But at the time, the game's not over. Your wheels are kind of spinning like what's next? It's awful nice to be able to hand the ball to Andrew, by I just thought Trevor, I thought he pitched his heart out tonight.