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10/25/07 12:55 AM ET

Francona postgame interview

Red Sox manager hopes Beckett's dominance continues

How important was the tone set by Dustin Pedroia right there in the first inning?

TERRY FRANCONA: It's certainly nice to play with a lead. I thought offensively the whole night we did a good job taking what he gave us, laying off pitches out of the zone, and even a couple innings when he got a couple outs, we didn't let him off the hook and have quick innings, and we prolonged innings, with two strikes, two outs. We took our walks when the ball were in the zone took some pretty good swings.

Even coming in with the roll that you guys were on, to see a game like this right off the bat, is it surprising? How determined, how dominant these guys came out tonight on both sides of the ball really?

TERRY FRANCONA: I don't think there's any surprise in the determination. They were on a pretty good roll, too, but sometimes a lopsided score can happen. You get into a bullpen, things don't go right. It's happened to us, happened to us against Cleveland. But we did a good job tonight. Now after I'm done with you guys we'll put it behind us and move on to tomorrow.

Francis threw fewer than half first-pitch strikes. It's an advantage for any lineup, but for a lineup like this how big an advantage is it when a guy is not getting ahead?

TERRY FRANCONA: Some of it is us not leaving the zone. If you get good pitches to hit and don't swing at balls against any pitcher, it certainly enhances your chances. But I thought we did a real good job. A couple innings he got two quick outs and then Youkilis had a real good at-bat, David had a -- he was down to two strikes and we put a pretty good inning together after that.

Can you talk about Beckett's night tonight?

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TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, he was good. Basically his two pitches, I don't think he used a changeup until the seventh. He threw Hawpe a changeup and I think he threw Tulowitzki two. Other than that I think it was fastball, breaking ball. As it got a couple innings into the ball he started getting comfortable with the breaking ball and that made him really effective.

The situation that you've been down before, last series, people start writing you off, now you'll be in a situation where I think a lot of people are going to start writing the Rockies off. How do you look going ahead as you always do, especially in a situation where now you have the upper hand?

TERRY FRANCONA: I don't think I paid much attention before, and probably won't now. We're smart enough to know tomorrow's game is what's ahead of us, and that's all that matters. That's the case every time you play. That'll never change.

With a 12-run lead was there any temptation to lift Beckett after the sixth, fifth or the sixth, and alternatively, what caused you to leave him in?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, alternatively we lined up to play a nice game. With the weather potentially kind of hanging around, sometimes I think you can get in the way of a good game, and if we go to the bullpen early and the weather breaks like it had a chance to, no, suddenly we're stuck. Something happens tomorrow, we go for the bullpen. Better to just stay out of the way. He didn't get real deep, I think he ended up with 89 or 90. Sometimes, like I said, you can get in the way.

Have you seen anything like what Beckett has been doing this October? I mean, he's kind of on an unstoppable roll. What do you make of what he's doing?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, we're not done and he's not done, so that would be a comment for later on. He's been huge for us, and again, to win, you have to have guys like that. Every time we've gone to him, he's given us a great outing, and we certainly hope that continues.

What do you think about the texture of your team? I mean, the one thing about 2004 and now is that even with different makeup of personnel, the team still seems to have the same guts and fortitude. How do you judge that, and how does it transfer over with such a change over in personnel?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, there's always going to be a change over just because we have a lot of good veteran players. When that happens you're going to have free agents that other teams want. Theo and our ownership have done a great job of not rebuilding but retooling every year. The first day of Spring Training we talk to our guys, whether they're new or whether they're returning, about how we're going to approach the game and the loyalty and things like that, and that's the first thing we try to get to, and then we turn good players loose and let them go faith and show faith and that we believe in them, and I think we get rewarded.

Is there also a character type of thing that you look for when you're bringing them in?

TERRY FRANCONA: We look for good players, and certainly character is a huge issue in that, yes.

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