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October 6, 2016

Terry Francona

Cleveland, Ohio - Postgame one

Cleveland - 5

Boston - 4

Q. What made you decide to go to Miller that early?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, one, he's really good (laughter).

There was a lot of a combination of things. I didn't want for them to come through the third time if they had a chance to tie the game. And Trevor was nearing 80 coming back on short rest. There was a lot of combinations. Andrew first came in, they made him throw a lot of pitches.

That's a heck of a lineup. But he was up to the task. I mean, that's why we got him.

Q. How much did having Kluber going tomorrow play into the way you used your bullpen tonight?
TERRY FRANCONA: I mean Kluber is our guy. But, no, we were trying to win the game tonight. We'll try to win the game tomorrow. I mean, I was joking with Kluber and told him he's on a tight 165 to 170 tomorrow. (Laughter.)

Nobody ever said you have to be conventional to win. We've talked about our bullpen and those guys did a heck of a job.

Q. Can you talk about the third inning, the three homers, not only the three homers, but sort of taking control of the game, working from an advantage the rest of the way, and just how electric this place got?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, I don't know about taking control of the game. It didn't seem like the control was there until the last out. It was certainly exciting to watch. What I guess I liked the most was when they scored, we came back and scored. And you knew it was going to be a good game. But, I mean, that was far from under control.

Q. What did the pitch counts for Miller and for Allen mean for you for tomorrow?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think it's today (laughter).

I'm guessing when Andrew comes in after me he'll have ice. We'll take inventory of what we got. You're certainly not going to see the same exact way tomorrow. But we wanted to win the game tonight and we did. Tomorrow might have to be a little bit different design.

Q. What has been the biggest thing that's brought Andrew Miller along since you had him in Boston?
TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, geez, he's turned himself into one of the elite pitchers in the game. The idea when he came to Boston was that he would try to work on simplifying some things and I don't know in my wildest dreams that we ever imagined him being this good. It's amazing what confidence and repetition. He's really something. He showed it tonight.

Q. Would any reliever do what he's doing in terms of being the best reliever in baseball, or would other relievers kind of fight a manager if they were put in that role given how good he is?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know. I just know our guys. I know Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw would do it, and Dan Otero would do it. That's what I care about. I don't know if I care about other teams.

Q. How big was Perez for you, with the homer and then the single and tagging the first inning?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, he played a real good game. He swung the bat. His base running -- I thought that was an outstanding tag at first. I'm not sure if it was a slide or a car accident or what going into second. But that was a nice piece of heads-up base running for us, and that's the things we have to do to win.

Q. There were a lot of relief pitchers going one inning, how is Miller able to pitch multiple innings and do it so often?
TERRY FRANCONA: One, because we told him to. He's really good. He's been a starter in the past. Normally he has such quick innings that you can send him out for two. Today they really -- he wasn't throwing strikes when he came in, wasn't quite on top of his game like he usually is. But he had such good stuff that we kept them off the scoreboard. But they made him work hard for everything he got.

Q. Was Otero warming up under a scenario if they tied the game he would come in?
TERRY FRANCONA: No, only if -- if somebody hit an extra base hit or something, wanted to make sure we didn't have Cody throwing more than he needed to.

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