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October 20, 2007

Terry Francona


Q. Are you flat out happy for J.D.?

Q. Personally happy for him?
TERRY FRANCONA: I was happy that we won. J.D. certainly played a big part in it. We get the bases loaded off one of the best pitchers in the game, makes great pitches to Manny, Mikey Lowell flies out to right and he got a chance to wiggle out of it, and one pitch later we got four on the board. That was huge.

Q. What did Schilling show you tonight?
TERRY FRANCONA: You know, he started out the first few innings fastball, split, and as the game progressed, kind of got into where he was throwing his change-up, cutter. Really, really pitched like the guy that we need.
I don't know if he had his best fastball tonight, but he located it very well and really used his off-speed really effectively.

Q. Your thoughts about Daisuke going in? He struggled the last few games, can he shake it off? What are you expecting out of him?
TERRY FRANCONA: I would certainly hope so. We're excited. We'd be crazy not to be excited, have a Game 7 at Fenway. I'm sure they'll be excited; so will we.

Q. When Drew worked the count to where he did at 3-1, how happy were you to see him get aggressive in that situation?
TERRY FRANCONA: Saying that we're thrilled would be an understatement (laughter).
Again, they got a chance to wiggle out of that, and not only does he get a hit, but he drives in four. That changes the whole complexion of the game with one swing.

Q. The old baseball saying about momentum is your next game's starting pitcher, but independent of the pitching match-ups, how much does momentum factor into tomorrow night given what you've done the last two games with your backs against the wall?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, we get to play, first of all, which is exciting. I'm glad we're playing at home. You just saw when Schill comes out of the gate or Billy Mueller throws the first pitch, you don't see 45,000 white towels waving around.
But as far as the game goes, the momentum will be with both starting pitchers. What happened tonight won't dictate anything tomorrow.

Q. For people who weren't here all year to see J.D.'s season, how difficult was it for him his first year in Boston?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think it was tough. Some things at home that weren't the best with his children, and it was difficult. This is not an easy place to not do well, especially when you're coming in with some of the fanfare that J.D. came in with. But he wants to drive in five again tomorrow. I think he'll leave on a good note this winter.

Q. This is your second ALCS Game 7 in four years, and I'm wondering how, if at all, your managerial strategy changes for a Game 7 as opposed to a Game 6 or 5 where you were still one game away from elimination?
TERRY FRANCONA: It doesn't change a whole lot. Obviously everybody is on hand pitching-wise; you use everybody. You certainly go to different guys in the bullpen maybe earlier than you would in the regular season. But other than that, we'll show up tomorrow and do the same thing we do every day, kick Pedroia's ass in cribbage, try to go win a baseball game (laughter).

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