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Oct. 9 Terry Francona pregame interview

October 9, 2017

Q. Bauer on three days, as opposed to four days' rest, how might that impact him and what can you expect as far as length out of him tonight?TERRY FRANCONA: I think Trevor said it really well last night. In his world, if he could have his way, he'd probably

Q. Bauer on three days, as opposed to four days' rest, how might that impact him and what can you expect as far as length out of him tonight?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think Trevor said it really well last night. In his world, if he could have his way, he'd probably do this all year. So I guess piggybacking on that, I think the way he's pitching, the way the Yankees are hitting, the score of the game will influence how long he goes, not the one-day short rest.

When we were aligning our pitching for this series, this was one of the reasons we did what we did, and I really don't think that the day bothers Trevor at all.

Q. Edwin's not in the starting lineup tonight, but is he available to pinch-hit late in the game, if necessary?
TERRY FRANCONA: We're working towards that. I would say, depending on how the rest of the day goes, you know, we're not going to have an answer. If you see him strolling up to the plate that means he is available.

Q. I'm sure you've seen, outside of yesterday's game, starting pitchers have not lasted very long in these postseason games. I'm wondering for you, when you go into these games, what realistically do you expect out of your starters as you're sort of game planning, the ideal game in the playoffs.
TERRY FRANCONA: I think our series has been pretty well -- I understand some of the other series. You know what? That's probably the hardest decision is when to take your starter out, just because during the course of the regular season, you always -- at least I defer to trying to let them find their rhythm or their footing because you saved your bullpen.

You get into games where they're so meaningful, have so much impact, sometimes it's hard to do that. But the one thing to remember is once you go to your bullpen, you're committed, and you've got to fill those innings.

If you're asking your bullpen to go seven or seven and a third, it's hard for them to go the entire way without somebody getting nicked up. It can happen. We saw the Yankees do it last week. We did it last year in Toronto. But it's difficult.

Q. Terry, can one game in a series change the confidence level for either team?
TERRY FRANCONA: I guess it could. It won't. But if you're asking me if it could, I'm sure it could. If one game changes our confidence level, we weren't as good as I thought we were. So I would say no. Our guys will be just fine.

Now, we have -- you know, we're playing a really good team. There are no guarantees, but we'll show up and play and we'll be just fine. The way we attack the game will be the same today as it always is.

Q. Tito, Brantley the last couple days has been back in the fold every day for the first time in a while. What are you seeing from him and how have you sort of decided where and how to use him in the lineup now that the Edwin situation has sort of forced him back into being an everyday player?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, we were going to play him in left field last night. But because of Edwin, it just seemed like common sense to, if you've got a guy fighting a foot or ankle thing, let him DH.

I think the hope is that the more at-bats he gets, the more his timing will come back. And in the meantime, he finds a way to help us win a game.

I know it's not ideal. Both he and Lonnie haven't had a lot of at-bats. It's just that's where we are so we try to do the best we can.

Q. Terry, I know you don't have a lot of experience with this, but after Andrew makes a mistake, what's your take on his makeup and his ability to just mentally bounce back?
TERRY FRANCONA: He's fine. He's as good as there is. Our goal then, though, was to get him out so we can save some of his bullets and try to navigate through the rest of the game where -- without them scoring, but also saving because if we're going to get where we want to go, he's going to carry a big load and we know that.

Q. Tito, how important has Joe Smith been since you guys acquired him and in this series?
TERRY FRANCONA: He's been terrific. I thought it went under the radar a little bit, because there's a lot of big names flying around. But because of our history with Smitty and his ability to be so tough on right handers and his leadership in the bullpen, it was a great acquisition. He's fit right in from the very first minute he showed up.

Q. What have you seen in Kipnis as a center fielder and just what's that transition like to do it on the fly like this?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, when you say on the fly, I mean, he had about two and a half, three weeks, and he'd been an outfielder. We wouldn't have done it if we didn't think it was the right thing for our team. And it's not like the game is being played and I'm holding my breath, because he's a really good athlete, and he competes real well.

Last night, on the one ball, he broke back a little bit, like a lot of center fielders do. But I think he's capable of making all the plays he's supposed to, which he has.

Q. Terry, Joe Girardi's had, before last night a tough couple days in New York fandom and he got booed last night when he was introduced. Noticed you may have said something to him about that. What is your experience in these hotbed baseball towns, Boston, New York, when you come under fire from the fans and ire like that?
TERRY FRANCONA: I'm not really sure how to answer that. I know I used to kid with some of my friends, when I left Boston, and I'd been in Philadelphia, I said the next place I ought to go is Beirut (laughter).

Obviously, teasing. But you know what? You can't have all the passion that you have in places like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, without having some of the headaches that come with it. That's just the way it is.

So you know going in that that's part of it. But they're also great baseball cities and there's tons of passion, and it's just sometimes the manager goes home with a headache. That's just the best way I can explain it.

Q. Are you, I guess, aware of a situation like that with an opposing manager? Do you feel for him at all or are you kind of focused on your own club and what you have to do?
TERRY FRANCONA: I mean, I was out there. I don't get too focused -- I get focused on our team a lot. But I don't get too focused on what they're doing or -- I never get focused on what the fans are doing. It doesn't impact how I'm going to do something, so I don't ever let it get in the way.