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10/19/08 11:55 PM ET

A postgame interview with Terry Francona

Red Sox manager meets the media after losing the ALCS

If you could just talk about Lester's performance tonight and what you saw from him as the game went on.

TERRY FRANCONA: I thought Jon was tremendous, out of the chute. He had power with all of his pitches. He threw enough really good breaking balls to kind of slow them down a little bit, had some power on his two seamer and his cutter.

The run in the fourth, that was a real nice piece of hitting by Longoria, hit the ball down the right field line. Next inning, Aybar goes down and gets a breaking ball with a double, infield hit, then he got a cutter, just not it was actually a pretty good pitch, the one Baldelli hit through the hole. Three straight hits, they get another run, and then he held them there until the home run. Actually I thought he pitched very, very well.

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When you start Pedroia a full count pitch to Ortiz in the sixth, you obviously know the risk. Is that just trying to get your offense out of neutral and get it going?

TERRY FRANCONA: Again, we have a chance to go first to third, and we had an opportunity to there wasn't a whole lot of opportunities during the inning two run. That was one where I thought it was in our favor, and it didn't work.

With all the roster adjustments this year, injuries and everything else, how proud are you of your club to get even this far?

TERRY FRANCONA: We didn't get as far as we wanted. We got beat by a very good team. They'll represent the American League very, very well. But this is probably the funnest couple months maybe I've ever had.

I know our guys will be down for a little while, but they have no reason to hang their head. That's an unbelievable group of guys in there.

The outcome of this game won't change my feelings towards that ever.

It's almost a follow up to what Timmy just asked. Torre used to lament that Yankee season was measured only if they won the World Series and there was an essential unfairness to that. There's no way that you look at this season as disappointing, do you?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, tonight we do, sure. We came out to win and go to the World Series, and we didn't accomplish that. I'm sure there's a time to look back on the season, and I'm sure in fact, at this moment I know I'll be very proud. But of course, we're disappointed tonight.

Any thought of hitting for Varitek there first and third against Garza?

TERRY FRANCONA: Not right handed oh, I'm sorry. When?

Against Garza in the 7th.

TERRY FRANCONA: No, they got double barrel in the bullpen. We're going to end up with a match up that doesn't we hit Casey, they're going to bring in the lefty, then we've got Cora on deck.

Just talk about Pedroia. I know he's come up big in clutch games before. It seemed like he was in the middle of everything tonight, from the home run, he gets on base, he manages to steal the one base, and then it just seemed like even defensively. Talk about how much he meant to your team staying in this game tonight.

TERRY FRANCONA: He's one of the best players in the game of baseball, and he wills himself to be even better than his numbers. We talked about it before the game. We're glad he's on our side. He's one of the best players in the game, and he will probably continue to get better.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.