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October 8, 2018

Terry Francona

Cleveland, Ohio - pregame 3

THE MODERATOR: Good morning. We'll take a few questions for Tito.

Q. Terry, what is your message to the team in, obviously, a win-or-go-home game?
TERRY FRANCONA: We don't need to meet every day before a game. I think if we did that, that would send up alarm bells. They know the situation. Certainly, nobody's ready to go home.

So we need to go out and find a way to be one run better. And they know that. I can go in there and say that, and all it's going to do is probably make them nervous.

Q. Anything you guys picked up on their hitters in the first two games that can help Mike today?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I think like any pitcher or hitter, you try to learn from every single thing that you've come across. Saying that, you know, you've got to be who you are. You know what I mean? Like Clev's got strengths. They've got strengths. I think if you ever defer, you stay with your strengths as opposed to maybe a hitter's weakness, because sometimes you get away from your game.

So he's going to stick with what he does. And if he commands the baseball, like he can, he'll be fine.

Q. Tito, in 2004, what allowed that Boston team to do what it did and come back? You're kind of in a similar situation now.
TERRY FRANCONA: You know what? You don't know beforehand. I mean, like you can be good enough, but there's no margin for error. That's just -- so I don't think it's just black and white.

I think the best thing to do is keep it in small samples, because it kind of seems daunting to, man, you've got to beat them three in a row when they've kind of had their way with us the first two.

Well, when you just put it in a smaller sample, let's try to win today, we can do it. We've done that plenty this year. We can do that. That's probably the best way to go about it.

Then if you do that well enough, then you look up a few days from now, somebody's saying, wow, what made the team so special that they could do that?

Q. Terry, when you see the offense in the first two games, three runs on six hits, I mean, what concerns you about that and what makes you think today will be different?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, those two guys, Verlander and Cole, pitched extremely well. So did their bullpen. We're seeing a lefty today, and he'll pitch more to contact.

We've got a few different guys in there today. But, I mean, Keuchel is also really good. He's certainly a different style. Like I said, probably pitching more to contact. But we're going to have to stay in the middle of the field and be really disciplined not to let him get that rollover ground ball for the double play, because that's what he's so good at.

Q. Terry, you obviously have to get there first. But if Bieber is taking the ball in Game 4, all season long you've talked about his poise and maturity for his age. What, along those lines, has stood out about him from this season?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, what you just were alluding to. I mean, he's such a poised and mature kid. For his experience level, his poise and the way he is -- his maturity level is beyond his three months in the Major Leagues, his service time.

And that's exciting for us because we view this kid as being here for a long time, and he's going to get better too. And it's exciting. If we are able to give him the ball tomorrow, there will be no hesitancy from anybody. That's a big compliment to that kid.

Q. What could you read from your club's body language, I guess, yesterday at the workout after coming home and --
TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, I thought we had a good workout. It was optional, but we had a lot of guys here, and we had good energy.

They know what we're up against, but I don't think anybody wants to go home. So the best way not to go home is to win. That's pretty profound, but that's ...

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Terry.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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