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October 27, 2007

Terry Francona


Q. Just curious, you lose the DH in this game and you moved Ellsbury to the top, and he and Pedroia just really in a lot of ways won the game for you. Talk about how they set the table for you guys?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, they were on base the whole night. They did exactly what you would hope your one-two hitters would do. But they're on base like that, and then you've got to face the middle of our order. It created a lot of opportunities. We cashed in early. Then their bullpen really held us down, and we finally spread it out a little bit because it looked like we were hanging on for dear life.

Q. You guys were in this spot with the '03 Yankees. Is there any advice you could give the Rockies? Not that you want to help them.
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know how to answer that. I really don't want them to win (laughter). I don't know what to say.

Q. When you were in that situation, what did you tell your team to get them back together to regroup?
TERRY FRANCONA: Same thing we'll tell our guys tomorrow, go out and play tomorrow's game. That's what's in our best interest, is to play tomorrow's game, see how we do. That's what we always do, stay in the moment.

Q. Do you get the feeling with each appearance Daisuke is getting a little more comfortable with this whole playoffs thing?
TERRY FRANCONA: You'd have to ask him. I think every game kind of has its own personality. I did think tonight the ball came out of his hand -- that was the best life on his fastball he's had in some time, threw some pretty good change-ups. Again, it's a good lineup.
Tonight Helton had, what -- in two at-bats some 20 pitches, and then he ended up striking him out with a change-up after he fouled off a bunch, and Holliday had some terrific at-bats. That might have cost him an inning, but I thought he pitched really well.

Q. What did you see from Okajima and Timlin that maybe wasn't quite as good as some other times? And given that, did you maybe have any worries about having gotten Ortiz out of there as they got closer and closer in the game?
TERRY FRANCONA: Oki came in, threw a first pitch change-up, Holliday hit it a long way. He's done that to a lot of people this year. Timlin got a couple pitches up. Actually when he came in the first inning the ball went about 412 feet to center, and then Lugo got the line drive.
You know, sometimes you're facing a lineup like that, they've got a bunch of guys that have 100 RBIs. Again, spreading it out certainly helped. And taking David out, in our opinion, that's the right thing to do. He can handle himself out there. They'll be just fine.

Q. Talk about the importance of responding after the Rockies kind of got it to a one-run lead?
TERRY FRANCONA: They got to their bullpen before they wanted to, but their guys did a really good job. When you do go that early, if somebody has a bit of a bump in the road it puts you in a tough spot, and we finally got something going because they really shut us down for a while. They fought themselves back in the game, and it was nice to spread it out a little bit and give ourselves a little bit of wiggle room.

Q. Pedroia and Ellsbury are obviously rookies, but the way they carry themselves, the way they play, do they even look like rookies to you sometimes?
TERRY FRANCONA: No, and I know they are, but they're not. Pedroia has been with us all year. He's a veteran. Ellsbury, we brought him in in a situation that was kind of difficult, starting him in Game 6, Game 5, whatever it was, against Cleveland. He plays with a lot of confidence, and there's a reason. He's a good player and he's aware of the situations around him. He prepares. So it's not just false bravado or acting like he's confident. He should be confident. He's a good player and he knows how to play the game.

Q. Can you talk about your reaction when Daisuke had his big RBI?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, two of them. Yeah, we'll take RBIs from anybody. I don't know that you can count on that coming into a game. I mean, he said he was a good hitter (laughter), but we -- again, during the season I think he batted in two separate games. Once was against Randy Johnson, and he just kind of smiled after he struck him out (laughter). But I'll tell you what, he competes, and putting the bat on the ball gave us a chance.
I thought Varitek did a great job because when that ball got to left field Tek was in a position where he had just gotten a throw to the plate. It's easy for a third base coach to hold someone because somebody just got thrown out, and he did what he thought was right, and it paid off for us.

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