Oct. 7 Terry Francona postgame interview

Oct. 7 Terry Francona postgame interview

Q. What can you say about what Kluber gave you today, especially on ten days rest?

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, we talked before the game about would he be a little bit rusty or would he be really good. I think he answered that question.

He was terrific. Early in the game it was a little hard for him. He had -- they put a sleeve on, and it was a little too tight. So he had to work through that a little bit, which I think made us probably a little more nervous than it made him.

It was so hard to see early, though, that -- you know, I think that helped. And then we scored some runs and he settled down. He was terrific. You go through that lineup and don't give up runs, you're pitching.

Q. What have you thought about how your guys have handled this stage, especially for the guys that are not exactly postseason veterans?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think everybody is just playing baseball. I think that's what we know how to do. I think when you start thinking about other things that maybe we're not so good at, we try to stay away from that and just play the game, and play the game as well as we can and see what happens. Again, it's more fun when you win, but I don't see anybody backing down or anything like that. The atmosphere is going to be a little different come Sunday.

Q. It was Corey Kluber's first postseason appearance, but I imagine he has some characteristics that made you feel really comfortable that he would feel comfortable out there on the mound.

TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, boy, that never even entered into my mind. He's pitched so many big games for us. He's been our guy for the last three years. He takes the ball every five days and he's ready to pitch. And that thought never entered my mind.

Q. In the same vein, you've been around a lot of pitchers. Is Kluber about as unflappable as anybody you've ever been around? It seems like he never --

TERRY FRANCONA: Outwardly you never see anything. He's -- there's a fire in there, though, that burns a lot. You can't be that good without it. But he won't let anybody know it, which I think is great. But he competes like crazy, though.

Q. Last night it was kind of the top of the order. Today it was more the bottom of the order against Price. Just the offensive approach and the Guyers, the Chisenhalls, what they brought to the table today?

TERRY FRANCONA: I thought Brandon Guyer had a terrific night. He fell behind on the count a few times, but he'd get up on top of a fastball, and rifled it right to center. Got on base.

Lonnie's hit was obviously huge. I mean, it's a game changer. It's a one-run game, all of a sudden it's a four-run game. And in a time, like I said, it was hard to see. And he went up and got a good fastball and that really did help us a ton.

Q. We talked before the game about the decision to put Lonnie in the lineup. When you make that call to kind of go against where he's usually in against righties, how rewarding is it to see that he makes it pay off?

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, I think sometimes good players make you look smarter than you probably are. Like I said before the game, David Price is a really good pitcher. His splits are kind of even. And with Klube pitching, we really like to have our best defensive team out there. And it also gave us some balance.

Q. Going into the game, considering how heavy your bullpen was used last night, what was the ideal scenario in your mind with how far you could get with Kluber, and how much do you think the early lead helped him pitch effectively and efficiently?

TERRY FRANCONA: I guess I feel like he's going to pitch good regardless. He's pitched a lot of close games for us. I'm sure if you ask him he'd probably say he enjoys having the lead. You know, the one thing we won't do is, regardless of what we do with our bullpen last night, we wouldn't ask a starter to go farther than he could. Maybe go to Otero earlier or Bryan Shaw. We felt like we could cover it.