© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

10/14/07 4:47 PM ET

Francona workout day interview

Manager confident Red Sox will bounce back after Game 2 loss

After the game last night Youk was kind of limping around a little bit in the clubhouse. Is everything all right with him?

TERRY FRANCONA: I didn't see that. I think Youk sort of wears his emotions on his sleeve. There was nothing in the medical report. He might have tripped over one of you guys (laughter).

Over the last few years of this run, you guys have pulled out those type of games at home, you've found some way to win them. Is there any residual effect? Can it be motivating? Can it be something you have to overcome? Is there any carryover to lose that type of game?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, there had better not be any carryover. That would be a horrible mistake on our part.

That was one of the funnest games I've ever been a part of until the very end, and then it rapidly became a whole lot not of fun. We lost in kind of an ugly fashion at the end. Up to that point, like I kind of said last night a little bit probably, it was one of the funnest, competitive games I've ever been a part of.

You know, our job today is to -- I think we already did bounce back. I think the bounce back will feel a little better when we have a little sleep. But as far as like dragging in the clubhouse, that won't happen. It shouldn't, and it won't, and there's really no reason for it to happen. We lost a really tough game, but we have a chance right now to play maybe the best team in baseball, and we're even up.

To be able to compete like that is what it's all about.

Looking at it, though, from the other side, could you see where they could take something like that game, where they were on the brink a couple times and coming home, to turn this into a big momentum thing in their favor?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think that's probably what Wedgie would say. I probably would, too, if I were him. But I'm on the other team.

You know what, in a series like this, every game there's going to be so much spin because that's the way it is. Shoot, we had a chance to be up 2-0; now we're 1-1. It made a lot of sense. But we're 1 1 and we'll practice today, watch a little football and go get 'em tomorrow, maybe sleep a little bit, too.

Is Wakefield set in stone for Game 4, or will that decision hinge on what happens tomorrow?

TERRY FRANCONA: No, he's pitching.

What does Jake Westbrook bring to the table that might cause a little trouble for the Red Sox tomorrow?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think we're hoping not a lot, but -- I'm teasing because we've never...

What we need to do against every single pitcher we see is basically the same thing: Bring him up in the zone or down in the zone, swing at strikes, and then do something with the strikes.

To this point we've really been pretty good. We had a great approach against Carmona. We did a great job against Perez. Jensen Lewis last night for me was the key to the whole game. They had gotten to a point in their bullpen where if he has a hiccup or he gets knocked around a little bit they're in trouble, and he worked ahead of every hitter, and we did nothing. That's where they were able to play a little bit of catch up and get to Betancourt, and it ended up working out better for them than for us.

How would you characterize Eric Gagne's performance since he joined the Red Sox? And what have you seen from him the last couple nights?

TERRY FRANCONA: When he first came over here, he had the gall to give up some runs in Boston. You can't do that. My point was, it was tough for him when he first came over.

He threw a lot to try to get back on track, actually got to the point where he was a little tender, so we had to dial him back down a little bit. We built him back up, the season went pretty well, not perfect but looked like it was better. Last night, strike out, first pitch to Sizemore, walk. We were actually going to let him face Trot if he had gotten Cabrera, but when he walked Cabrera, we decided to go to Javy, even if they're going to hit for Trot with Michaels, just because it's the 11th inning and it seemed like the right thing to do. When you make a move like that and you don't get the hitter you need to get, it can unravel like it did.

You guys did such a great job with Sabathia and Carmona. Any tiny bit of regret about coming out of there without just one more?

complete coverage
Home  |  News  |  Multimedia  |  Photos

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I wish we would have got two. You know what, every game is a new game. If we dwell on the past, it's not going to help us win tomorrow. I think we're really good about staying in the moment. I think that's one of our strong suits. You try to learn from your mistakes and do better.

But I think our approach offensively has been outstanding. Carmona's stuff last night at times was just extraordinary, and we made him work so hard. Again, to get to Perez that early in the game, and then not only get to Perez but actually score off of him.

You just stated that Wake will pitch Tuesday. Can you talk a little bit about whether there was much discussion about bringing back Beckett on the short rest. If you just don't believe in that, what the pros and cons of that decision are?

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, you know what, I think what we're trying to do is set up our rotation so we can win a series. I think sometimes you can get short sighted if the need for panic arises, like perceived panic. If you lose a couple games everybody wants you to immediately change what you've set up.

The reason we set it up like this is because we think it gives us the best chance to win a series. Doing something like that may give you a chance to win a game, it may not, but it doesn't set up the rest of the series. We really value the rest that a Schilling can get, and Daisuke, also. It's also not just one guy that it affects, it affects three guys in the rotation.

Coming into the series you talked so much about Grady Sizemore. All of your starting pitchers mention him. What were your impressions of the way he bounced back from Game 1 and made such an impact last night?

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, we weren't very happy about it. He's an impact young player that's rapidly becoming a star in this league. The need to keep him off base we understand. Saying it is a lot easier than doing it. He can beat you a lot of ways: Defensively, stealing the base, hitting the ball in the gap, hitting the ball out the ballpark. That's why he's so good. I'm sure he could be a three hitter on a lot of teams. It just gives them a very dangerous hitter leading off.

Has there been any change in Daisuke's program during the season as opposed to the postseason?

TERRY FRANCONA: To say there was not a change would be a little bit -- just because he threw the three innings the other day out of necessity, I mean, I don't think we'd do that during the year.

But if you're asking if anything has drastically been altered, no. Because of the time elements between starts, we had him face hitters the other day. But as far as changing the program, no, it's the same.

What was your impression of that incident with the swarm of bugs here, and what did you think of that? Have you ever experienced anything like that in your own career where you've seen an outside force kind of impact a game like that?

TERRY FRANCONA: Anytime there's been bugs on my body, I'm not sure I felt real comfortable about talking about it (laughter). I don't know what to say.

You know what, I guess it's kind of like rain. If it rains, you handle it. If it snows, you handle it. If it's cold, you handle it. I guess if there's bugs, you get bug spray (laughter).

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