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October 13, 2008

Terry Francona


Q. The early opportunities that you were unable to deliver on, how much do you attribute that to Garza and how much, if any, to pressing?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't think it was pressing. I think some of that was Garza's fastball. In the second inning we had second and third, had a chance. We got the strikeout, flyout.
He was throwing his fastball at times by us, and that breaking ball at times that you had to respect. So that was a tough combination for us, I think one that we couldn't overcome.

Q. Can you talk about Jon Lester tonight and what were some of his problems?
TERRY FRANCONA: Trying to get a pitch to Upton, a fastball up under his hands that he didn't get where he needed to. That was three. Then he threw a cutter to Longoria right in the middle of the plate. That was four runs right there. The ball Iwamura hit off the wall was a cutter that cut too much at the plate. It was two walks and seven strikeouts.
It certainly wasn't his sharpest outing, but it wasn't as -- again, you put up four in an inning. Other than that, he was actually okay.

Q. David's offense really hasn't gotten going at all. How difficult is it for you guys to score runs when he's not hitting?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, he's right smack in the middle, and when he does get hot, it'll certainly be welcome. At the same time, when certain guys aren't hitting, you just expect somebody else to pick up the slack. That's how we've always felt. We're not going to live and die on one guy. We'll win as a ballclub, and on certain nights when it's tough, we'll lose as a ballclub.

Q. Why do you think he hasn't been as productive recently?
TERRY FRANCONA: You're talking about David?

Q. Yeah, David.
TERRY FRANCONA: He hasn't gotten any hits. This series has been a very tough series up to this point. I've been around David long enough to know that can change with one swing of the bat, and that's part of having guys like David that can change a game with one swing. The other team still has to respect that even when they're not swinging like they're capable.

Q. That said about getting other guys on, Jacoby obviously is struggling. Is he getting himself out? Is he pressing? What's with him?
TERRY FRANCONA: Today he got the ball in the air, and the ball -- I actually thought he was closer tonight, but still, the ball is getting a little deep on him. Again, some of that may have to do with 98 miles an hour, but the ball is getting a little deeper than he's probably comfortable with, and he's not -- again, it's more fighting off some balls instead of driving them, or even when he hits the ball into left field. I don't think he's pressed.

Q. How much did these two wins give the Rays confidence?
TERRY FRANCONA: You'll have to ask Joe that. I don't know. I haven't been over in their clubhouse. I hope not a lot (laughter).

Q. I know this is looking forward, but is Josh Beckett still on pace to be your Game 6 starter?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah. But we're not -- tomorrow's Game 4. You're getting way ahead.

Q. Garza had had a couple good outings against you guys in September. Did you expect him to be this tough tonight?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, again, I don't think we ever come into a game and expect somebody to beat us. We respect what he can do, and he certainly had his way with us tonight, but I don't think we've ever taken the field and expected for us to not score. That would be very uncompetitive. I don't think anybody ever feels that way.

Q. How dangerous is B.J. Upton with the fact that he can run in and hit for power and everything? How good of a player is he?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, we found out the hard way, and he did the same thing to the White Sox. The couple balls that they mislocated, he hit them a long way. I think two were in one game, and the same thing happened to us tonight. We didn't locate, and he hit it a long way. Plays center field, steals bases, and he's got a chance to get better, which is kind of scary.

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