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October 25, 2004

Terry Francona


Q. Where throughout the season did you find that the game changed at all for you guys once you got away from Fenway on the road with the different dimensions?

TERRY FRANCONA: We started playing better after the trade deadline. We kind of had an influx of players. And I think that transcended on the road a little bit because we were able to play on the road better. When we went to Toronto or Minnesota or a bigger ballpark, we got exposed a little better; we weren't that quick. When we made the trade, we had a more athletic team on the field without sacrificing the offense.

Q. What in your reports told you about how well Jeff Suppan pitched in this season?

TERRY FRANCONA: I'm not going to give you our exact reports, but we have a lot of respect for what he can do. The guys in Boston know him very well. They also know there's a reason they're pitching him in Game 3, they have a lot of confidence in what he can do here. We go into every game respecting what they can do, because that's the way you beat them. If you take people lightly, you put yourself in a bad spot. We would never do that with anybody.

Q. Will you see the St. Louis lineup being tougher in front of their hometown fans?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think every team would like to come home. These fans are some of the best you'll ever see. They can't swing, which is good. If our pitchers make pitches, it doesn't matter what their crowd does, but they'll be more comfortable being home.

Q. Where do you gauge Pedro (Martinez) this time of year, with all the innings he has logged already, and what do you expect to see out of him tomorrow?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think Pedro is geared up to be ready to pitch a very good game. We've been so careful and so -- the whole year with our pitchers through our medical staff, through Chris Correnti, we have a little bit of unique situation, where we have the three trainers, and the one, Chris kind of directly works with the pitchers, and I actually kind of like the idea, instead of have the strengthening and conditioning guy, we have a trainer, so when these guys go out and do the work, he understands the body and what they're going through and what they're being treated. So we know how hard to work and when to back them off, because these guys haven't missed a start, and they've been strong from start to finish. One of our goals in Spring Training, one of our goals was to not only have them pitch, but pitch productively, but pitch late in the season, and I think Pedro is a product of that.

Q. Is that the reason why I guess looking back, was it your intention all along to use Pedro in Game 3, and is that why he pitched in Game 7 against the Yankees?

TERRY FRANCONA: I've answered this so many times -- you said patience, right? We wanted to get to the World Series. That was one of our big goals. I know that's not a shocker. Our bullpen was on fumes coming into Game 6 and 7 in New York. We were trying to put it together where whatever scenario happened we would put ourselves in the best position to win. Once we got Pedro up in that game to warm up, we needed to get him in the game, because if something happened -- say we brought Bronson (Arroyo) in after we extended our lead a little bit, if Bronson struggled, we couldn't go back to Pedro. It's not fair to get a guy up like that and down. And we already told Wakefield once we stayed away from him, he was our Game 1 starter. We had it all set up how we were going to do it and I was pretty pleased with how it worked out.

Q. Because of what you guys did to the Yankees in the last round, does that make you feel any different at all about being ahead 2-0 than it normally would?

TERRY FRANCONA: Never been ahead 2-0 in the World Series. I'd never been down 0-3 either.

Q. Does it feel any less safe, I guess?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think we have a pretty good perspective of what we're trying to do. I don't think our clubhouse atmosphere would change, regardless, which I think is probably good. I've said it enough, I'm sure it's getting tiresome; we show up to win the game at home. I think that's the best way to do it. If you're down, the task can get daunting. There's no reason to look at it differently if you're up 2-0. The only thing you can look at it is the game tomorrow, and that's what we'll try to.

End of FastScripts...

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