JEFF FRANCIS: I think we'll have a better chance to reflect on that when this is all over. Hopefully it's not over for another week. You know, who knows? You come back next year with more experiences and you're probably better off. Playing in the postseason, it's a lot different than the daily grind of the regular season. We know that now. But we know it's a lot of fun, and we know we had to do something special to get here. We've got a lot to be proud of, we know that, and a lot to think about in the off season. But right now we're concentrating on today because you've got to lose four times to get out of this thing.
Briefly, the mood in the clubhouse, are you guys relaxed? How are you feeling?
JEFF FRANCIS: I think the guys who are winning in fantasy football are probably more excited than the guys who are losing. That seems to be the main focus in there right now, which it is every Sunday once September comes around. But it's the same; it's loose. I think if there's any change in our approach, then that doesn't mean good things for us. I mean, I think we've been backed in the corner before, and I think we take the same approach whether we're up three games or we're down three games.
It's loose and it's the same as it's been since the beginning of April.
Preparing to face Josh Beckett for the second time, do you go about that any differently having seen him pitch one time, and did you take anything away from the performance against him last time?
JEFF FRANCIS: Well, it really wasn't me having anything to do with him, so like I said before, if I can just go out and I can execute better, we'll have a better shot. I mean, yeah, I'll have to hit against him this time and he'll have to hit off me. I know he can swing the bat really well. But it comes down to me versus their lineup, and if I can execute better then we'll have a better shot.
Has having your back against the wall for as long as you did give you any sort of advantage for today, tomorrow and the last couple games?
JEFF FRANCIS: Having your back against the wall never gives you an advantage (laughing). I think maybe the fact that we've been there before, we're a little more familiar. But it's not something that we're relishing right now. It's a feeling like we've got to come out and we've got to play hard tonight. We've got a great guy going for us tonight, probably at the right time. I think we feel good about tonight. If we win, we come out here, we'll feel good about tomorrow.
Can you talk about their approach as a team when it comes to hitting? It seems during the regular season some guys are aggressive, some guys will lay off pitches. But it seems that through their lineup everybody has the same approach no matter how good of a hitter they are. Do you sense that out there, as well, that they have a plan as a team, not just as individuals?
JEFF FRANCIS: Yeah, I think they have a plan as a team. I don't know if they all have the same approach, but I think as a team when you've got so many good hitters with so many different types of approaches, and aggressive, patience, they put all that together, along with being as hot as they are, it's a dangerous combination.
You know, it shows on the field the last three games what they've done to us as starters, especially. They really haven't let us get into any kind of rhythm or get ahead in a lot of counts. Even when we are ahead, it just feels like they're just as aggressive and just waiting for you to make a mistake, and they haven't missed them when we have.
From the view of the press box it almost seems like they know what's coming, that they know when to take a pitch and they know when to swing. Do you get that sense from the dugout even when you're on the mound?
JEFF FRANCIS: Sometimes it feels like that as a starter. I know in Game 1 it seemed like everything you throw up there is getting bashed. But really if you watch the tape, everything is falling in the middle of the plate, you're leaving balls up in fastball counts. Whether they know things are coming, I don't want to use that as an excuse to say that that's why they're hitting me, because I don't think that's the case and I don't think it was the case last night or the night before.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.