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October 6, 2008

Terry Francona


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Terry Francona.

Q. Can you first talk about Lester's performance these two games, and then your overall view of this series?
TERRY FRANCONA: That pretty much wraps it up. I thought Jon Lester was tremendous. He was strong with his pitches. He was poised. He attacked the strike zone. That ballclub we just played is some kind of ballclub. I mean, we had our hands full. And Jon Lester, we needed to have a strong starting performance, and he gave us all of that.

Q. Jon just mentioned there was a chance he could have come back out for the 8th, and that John Farrell had asked him how he felt coming back out. Was there any thought on your guys' part about bringing him out into the 8th?
TERRY FRANCONA: No, when the inning was over, in my mind, he was going back out at least for two or three hitters till we could get to the right-handers. But if you watch his reaction after the last out, in his mind, that was his last hitter.
He was very willing to go back out, but I think you can make a mistake on a pitcher, kind of emotionally shut it down or turns a switch off to try to rev it back up. Didn't seem like it made sense to me.

Q. We've heard you say in the past just the innings that Jon Lester has thrown this year, and that's something you'll have to monitor. But the run that he's on is it difficult to hold him back and especially going forward with one more series here?
TERRY FRANCONA: We're not going to hold him back. There's plenty of time in the winter to figure out how you want to handle a pitching staff for next year. This kid is one of the best pitchers in the league right now. If we're going to get where we want to go, he'll be a huge part of that as he already has been. There's time to concern yourself with that in the winter.

Q. Can you look ahead a little bit towards the Rays and what will be some of the keys for the Red Sox and the Rays on Friday in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida?
TERRY FRANCONA: Wow. You know what, we just won about ten minutes ago. I think there's plenty of time for me to sit with you guys over the next couple of days. If I give it to you all now, we've got nothing to talk about Wednesday and Thursday.
We need to make a lot of decisions. And tonight's not the night to do that. We just beat a phenomenal team. We're going to play another phenomenal team. It will be very exciting. We're looking forward to that. For right now though, that's probably enough.

Q. Could you just talk about what it means for a kid like Lowrie to come through in that situation, and the confidence you have in him?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, I was just standing by the doorway when they were talking. I was looking and thinking, boy, they're young. Not in a bad way. The organization, we've brought some kids up and they have done such a phenomenal job of competing. I think our organization should be proud.
I'm the one who gets to stand here on nights like this and talk, but I hope we do this as an organization, because it's an exciting time for the Red Sox.

End of FastScripts

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