Oct. 6 Terry Francona postgame interview

Oct. 6 Terry Francona postgame interview

Q. Tito, I know, first of all, you said you were undecided on whether it was going to be Gomes or Perez. How happy are you that you had Gomes playing? And what did you think of not only the hit, but the pickoff play that he had as well?


TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, there was -- the understatement of the year would be to say that there was a lot going on in that game. Gonzy kind of launched one, and Gomer picked him up. That's what good teams do. That was a great play. Looked like we had them by about an inch, but that was enough.

Q. Obviously, Kluber didn't have his best game. You guys are down 8-3. Talk about the resilience of your ball club the rest of the night.


TERRY FRANCONA: You know, we don't just believe in one or two guys. We believe in our entire team, and it took an entire team tonight to win that game. There was so many things that happened that, if we don't do one of them, we probably lose. I mean, Brian Shaw came in and quieted it down, gave us a chance. Cody went two really tough, long innings. And Josh Tomlin came in -- I mean, he's -- I don't know how else to say it. He's got major league balls. That's just the best way I can say it.

Q. Can you give us an update on Encarnacion, and could his situation affect how you use Brantley going forward?


TERRY FRANCONA: He went and got an MRI, and the results came back that he has, obviously, an ankle sprain. The severity of it, it's going to depend on how he feels. Right now they say he's day to day, which if that's the case, that would be tremendous. So we don't have to do anything.

We'll see how he shows up tomorrow. We obviously don't want to rush into putting him on a DL. So we'll see how he does.

Francona on walk-off win


Q. I probably got lost with everything that happened afterwards, but Santana had a big hit early on in the game. Can you just talk about what he's done for your team this year and how he's managed to stay focused even with free agency looming.

 


TERRY FRANCONA: Nobody's thinking about free agency right now. That's not part of the equation. He's a member of the Indians. There's a lot of people in the game that become free agents or whatever, but not until after the season's over, and he knows he has a home here.

Q. Tito, you've been a part of a lot of crazy games. Where does this one rank?


TERRY FRANCONA: I'm not good at ranking, but that was -- it was an honor to be a part of this game. I mean, you can see why, when I talk about our guys, why I do. I mean, going through that with them, the ups and the downs both, I mean, shoot, it was -- seeing Joe Smith come off the mound just like so fired up that he was in a game like that, you know, happy to compete, embracing it. Like it was an honor to be a part of that game.

Q. What did you think of Austin's kind of presence of mind in taking second base to kind of set up that last run?


TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah. I mean, we knew going into the inning that that was probably our best way to go about it. We certainly weren't knocking Betances all over the ballpark, but he has given up some stolen bases. And if we try to bunt him to second, we got our backup third baseman in there. So that was the idea, and he did a great job. And I thought Gomer's -- Gomer fought through that at bat the whole way.

Q. Terry, what was your read on Kluber tonight? Off the bat, did you think Lindor's grand slam was going to stay fair?


TERRY FRANCONA: I probably had the best view of Frankie's, and, yeah, it actually did. It hit the inside of the pole. I was actually surprised it hit the pole. I thought he had a little bit of room to spare. Klubes just fought his command right from the get-go. In the first inning, he walked Judge, and he got behind on Sanchez. So that cost him two.

Looked like in the second he was going to reel it back in a little bit.

Then in the third, when you're around 75 pitches into the third, that kind of speaks volumes. He was having trouble working ahead. Then he was having trouble finishing hitters. And guys that he's handled in the past were -- obviously, the Hicks' home run was a huge blow. It was just -- you know, he was fighting his mechanics from the get-go.

Francona, Lindor on leadership


Q. What went into the decision to go with Tomlin when you did? And at the risk of looking too far ahead, how does that affect how you might use Bauer going forward in this series?

 


TERRY FRANCONA: We're not ready to -- there's no reason for us to name a starter three days from now. We were just trying to win a game. And we were fortunate that we did.

The one thing I do know is everybody in that room will volunteer to do something, and I think together we'll figure it out. That's how we always feel.

Q. Lindor, once again, thriving on the big stage. Can you just talk about the energy that he brings.


TERRY FRANCONA: Well, he's -- I mean, one thing I said to him, when Edwin went down, I said, hey, we can't act like we got hit in the stomach and got the wind knocked out of us. I said keep him going. And he certainly does that. He's wise beyond his years. Shoot, if I had that talent, I'd like playing too, but I mean, he's -- you can see why we like him so much.