Francona's postgame interview

Francona's postgame interview

I noticed that you had guys up in the bullpen at the end, but was there any dialogue in the dugout at all between you and Josh about the ninth?

TERRY FRANCONA: No, rarely do I go to a pitcher during a game. John Farrell will have a way of making sure that if we think a guy's okay, that he thinks he's okay. We don't want to get in the way of, you know, what they're doing. With body language, and again, John knows how to communicate with the pitchers on whether we feel they have something left, but just making sure they feel they have something left. I thought it was pretty obvious he was fine.

If you could just speak generally about Josh's performance tonight.

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I think you guys don't need to talk to me tonight, just talk to Josh. I mean, he went out there and executed his pitches, in my opinion, probably better than he has at any point in the season. He attacked the strike zone with all of his pitches. Cut his fastball at times. You know, he pounded the strike zone with three great pitches.

You know, they're very aggressive. We've been over that. He threw first pitch strikes and kept it out over the middle of the plate. That was a great performance.

What did you think of his demeanor out there? He's obviously familiar with big games.

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, and I think he acted like it, too. He was in control of himself, of the game. You know, he's a very emotional guy, but now his pace of the game, he got in a groove. I think he retired maybe 19 at one point. He worked quick. Stayed with all his pitches.

No, he was good.

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In any sport there are guys that seem to be at their best in the most difficult of pressure packed situations. Clearly Beckett has proven that. Ortiz would be another one. What is there about guys like that that they seem to rise to the occasion so consistently?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I hope that continues. But I actually think our whole ballclub tonight, I mean, we played a real crisp game, faced one of the better pitchers in the league. I don't think we left the strike zone one time. When he came in the strike zone, we did enough. Youk got us on the board, David takes a great swing. You know, he's got enough velocity with the breaking ball that he can come in and out of the zone, we never left the zone. And really, again, you can get a little keyed up on games like tonight. And our guys really took a professional approach.

Youk had some issues with the wrist during the last couple of weeks of the season. You know, the home run. Can you describe a little bit about how he was doing with the wrist lately, and what you saw in the home run?

TERRY FRANCONA: The one good thing for us the past week or so is he's been hitting a lot extra on the days off. So you can kind of tell just by watching if guys are shying away from hitting and trying to rest it. When he first came back, he went through some fatigue with it, and I'm sure it's not 100 percent. But took some pretty good swings.

I just thought watching him this past week, the more he was hitting was a good sign.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.