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October 24, 2004

Terry Francona


Q. Two questions. One, talk about Curt Schilling and his performance, and will we see him again in this post-season?

TERRY FRANCONA: His performance, I thought he was, under the circumstances, we all know what the circumstances are, I thought he was very, very good. He looked to me, especially in the sixth, like he was starting to labor a little bit. I think we could all see that. We didn't give him a lot of help. We kept getting ground balls and just couldn't get the final out. But I thought he was -- I think he's getting a better understanding of his body and he's able to compete a little bit better and put that out of his mind. I think you saw Tek (Varitek) take a couple of trips just to regroup and slow down a little bit, but I thought he did very, very well. As far as him pitching again, you know what, if his turn comes up, of course. I'd be getting a little ahead of myself. Again, we've kind of taken this one game at a time. If you're asking if I think he's healthy enough, of course.

Q. The reason that's coming up is because before the game there was a report quoting the Red Sox doctor, Dr. Morgan, as saying he would not be able to pitch again in Game 6; that this procedure cannot be done again effectively.

TERRY FRANCONA: Are you sure you're quoting that exactly correctly? That's important, okay. If I'm going to respond to that -- I mean, you've got to really get that one right on, okay. I wasn't under that impression. Let me explain to you what I think, every time he pitches under these circumstances, he will certainly be evaluated by the medical staff. That's kind of common sense. That's kind of where we are. Now, the game was over ten minutes ago. But, I have never heard anything of that nature. Again, the way I'm understanding -- we'll always evaluate him, but that's about as far as it goes.

Q. I think most of your runs, if not all of them, were with two outs. Can you just talk about both a team that's able to do that and what that means when teams do it against you, kind of psychologically?

TERRY FRANCONA: Two-out hits, two-out runs are huge. When teams get them against you, it's damaging. When you do it, it's awesome. I thought Jason Varitek's at-bat was huge. The way they are approaching David Ortiz, I don't blame them. They don't want him to necessarily beat them, and having Varitek swing the bat like he did tonight, that ball, his last out was as good as you can hit a ball. So with him swinging the bat likes that gives us an added dimension, another weapon in the middle of that order. You've seen the way we go about it. We try to make sure that they have to pitch to those two guys.

Q. It's probably slightly unorthodox to win a couple of games with four errors in each game, and can you talk about the defensive substitutions you made, would you have made those without the numerous errors?

TERRY FRANCONA: Have you not been watching us play very much? We make these substitutions every time we play, that's just the way we do it. And actually, maybe four is our lucky number. (Laughter.) I'd like to try without it. You know what, actually, we went out to make the pitching change, the field was horrendous; it was wet and everything. We made some errors, I didn't actually think we played a sloppy game. Maybe that sounds like I'm contradicting myself. We made some errors. We threw the ball away in some plays and didn't catch a couple of balls. It's almost snowing out there, again, our pitchers made pitches, where it didn't affect the outcome of the game, which I'm thankful for. I would rather not make four errors.

Q. Two questions for you: One, your thoughts about being able to take the first two games here at home and secondly about going to St. Louis now where they have a tremendous home-field advantage like you guys have here.

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, they have been -- well, they have been very good everywhere. You know what, we've tried to simplify it so much, we just wanted to win tonight. I know I've said this because it's true. We'll work out tomorrow; we can't win tomorrow. Show up the next night and try to win that game. It just seems to make it easier. You start thinking too far ahead or behind, it just doesn't really do any good. We know how good of a team they are. I mean, from the first pitch to the last pitch, we tried to concentrate on everything we did and we will continue to do that. That's our best way of beating them.

Q. Talk about having Pedro (Martinez) pitch and what you expect.

TERRY FRANCONA: I expect Pedro to pitch his fanny off. I think he's got rest. I think he feels good about himself. You know, we'll have a day off so we can rest our bullpen a little bit. Any time we start Pedro, believe me, we're excited about it.

Q. They weren't flashing Schilling's radar numbers on the scoreboard in the first inning, was that by design, and how did you rate his stuff tonight?

TERRY FRANCONA: You know what, I don't think that was by design. I don't think you're allowed to do that.

PHYLLIS MERHIGE: It was a scoreboard malfunction, Glen Geffner is saying.

TERRY FRANCONA: Thanks, Glen. Actually because I was kind of curious myself. It was a malfunction. We wouldn't do that on purpose. I know they started going up in the second inning. I don't think you're quite seeing the velocity that you would maybe under normal circumstances, but I thought he had a very good split, at least for a while tonight. When he needed to get a strikeout, he was able to go to a split and when you're seeing swings and misses with that, that's pretty good, a pretty good indication he's got that working for him. When he has his split working, he gets outs easier. I think it gives him confidence that he can go through the batting order a little bit easier.

Q. How much will you count more on your coaches? I know you always count on them, but because of the double-switches and the change back to the National League format, will you talk more about what you need to do because of that coming up in St. Louis?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I had four years in the National League. I didn't do a very good job, but I think I know how to do it. I count on those guys anyway. They all have their responsibilities, and Millsy (Brad Mills) and I will be okay. We added Youkilis to the roster kind of for the National League part of the series. We'll be okay.

End of FastScripts...

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