Postgame interview with Terry Francona
Boston manager discusses Game 1 loss, bouncing back
Q. Terry, was [the loss] mostly [about] mislocation?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, I mean, you watch where Varitek set up. He reached across the plate quite a few times, and the home run to [A.J.] Pierzynski early, it wasn't where it was supposed to be. Breaking ball to [Juan] Uribe. A lot of mislocations. And again, we talked so much with Matt [Clement]. He doesn't necessarily exactly have to hit his spots, because his stuff is good, but he missed by some pretty good margins quite a few times.
Q. Terry, where did Matt get hit [by a comebacker] in the third inning, and did you feel like you might want to take him out at that point, or even to start in the fourth?
FRANCONA: No, it hit him in the leg, but I think it hit him in the wrist first. He had a pretty good seam mark right above where his glove would be, where you wear your watch. It was on his glove hand. We wanted to make sure he was OK. You get hit like that, you want to have a second to gather yourself to make sure he's OK.
Q. Terry, touching on the second part of that, was there any consideration given to making a change after the third inning, despite the injury?
FRANCONA: No, we wanted to get him further in the game. We got Bradford up the next inning. We wanted to get Matt through the leadoff hitter. We would bring [Chad] Bradford in to face the right hitters and get out of the inning, and we could go longer if we needed to. He gave up the home run before we could even get there. It fell apart in a hurry.
Q. Terry, a lot of guys say they would rather lose in a blowout than lose a close game. Is that true for you right now, and if so, why?
FRANCONA: I would rather not lose. I think what people mean by that is, emotionally, it's a tough loss when you lose in the ninth inning. We had some time today, unfortunately, to come to grips with the way the game was going.
The one thing we didn't do is go through our entire bullpen. That's not an easy game, to sit there and watch us give up runs, but at the same time, I don't want to go out there and throw a ton of pitches in a ton of innings in a game where we were already down pretty significantly.
Q. Terry, you guys lost by a big margin in Game 3 of last year's ALCS, and then you didn't lose again. Do you think the team can use anything from that experience tomorrow?
FRANCONA: Again, that was a long time ago. It's a different team. I've said so many times in other questions that last year doesn't matter. What matters to this team is how we bounce back tomorrow. I don't have any doubt that we will bounce back. You know, last year is a long time ago, different team, different scenario. Everything is different. This is another year. I don't have any doubt that we will bounce back.
Q. Terry, the play in the third with [Kevin] Millar thrown out at third base, were you surprised to see the ball thrown across the infield like that, and what impact do you think it had?
FRANCONA: When you look at the final score, that play will probably get passed by. Again, you can slow it down. It looked like [Tadahito] Iguchi thought about throwing, and didn't let it go right away. [Joe] Crede made a great play. If he didn't make that play, they've hopefully or potentially opened up a big inning. That was a big play by Crede at the time. It was a big time in the game.
Q. Terry, you guys are no stranger to Jose Contreras. It's not a big secret he's been on a heck of a roll in the second half. Did you guys see something different out of Jose today than on previous occasions?
FRANCONA: We saw a much more mature pitcher. We have had more success than most teams against him. We have got him in situations where he's tried to maybe throw harder when he's gotten into a bind, and then go almost exclusively at times to a split-finger, and today, he didn't throttle up and start trying to throw 100 [mph]. He threw a split, not in the zone and out, but he kept the split in the zone for strikes. That's as good as we've seen him. I know the run he's been on and today we found out why.
Q. Terry, did you learn anything about the White Sox lineup today that you didn't already know?
FRANCONA: Well, no, I mean, we've got a pretty good feel. If we don't make pitches, they're going to hit them. Again, sometimes a team gets on a roll and it's hard to stop. Hopefully, they had their day, and hopefully, we'll make tomorrow be ours.
Q. Terry, when the White Sox acquired [Scott] Podsednik, they ended up with more home runs. Are they mislabeled as a small-ball team?
FRANCONA: I didn't know about the label. I don't particularly care about the label. Part of what they do is put pressure on the bases. Podsednik is a huge part of that, but we knew about the long one.
They hit a lot of home runs, but they also have the ability, and we saw it in the game at our place [in] the makeup game. They can one-run you to death, also. And then when they do hit the home run, it makes it a little bit more significant.
Q. Thank you, Terry.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.