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Francona: ‘We Need to Win a Game’

10.10.09 at 2:16 am ET
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Really, when an offense scores one run in 18 innings and manages just four hits each in consecutive games, there is only so much that a manager can say. And so, on Friday night, following his team’s 4-1 loss to the Angels in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, Red Sox manager Terry Francona offered the most basic analysis when asked what his team must do differently to avoid elimination now that it is down 2-0 in the best-of-five ALDS.

“Our strategy is that we need to win,” Francona said. “We need to win a game.”

Here is the transcript of Francona’s postgame remarks.

Q. The lack of offense, is that more something with your team, or is it just their pitching is that good right now?

Francona: It’s probably a little bit of both. They certainly have executed very, very well. [Jered] Weaver tonight, he wasn’t pitching [out of] the stretch very much — [Jacoby Ellsbury's] triple. You know, he throws across his body with the deception we talked about before the game. He executed his pitches, and we looked like we started trying to pull a little bit too much.

We didn’t square up on the balls.

Q. Can you talk about [Josh Beckett's] performance tonight?

Francona: Yeah, I thought he was good. Fourth inning he was up a little bit. Mike Lowell makes that diving catch. We limit it to one run that inning. Other than that, going into the seventh,  I think he had one 19-pitch inning, an eight and an 11. Threw a lot of good changeups to kind of slow him down. And the triple really hurt.

The way they were limiting our offense, that was obviously a big hit.

Q. Going back to Fenway, will that be enough to get the offense clicking? And what else can you do?

Francona: Well, I certainly hope so. I don’t know if I can answer that. What we’ll be trying to do is win the next game we play, that’s what we always do. I certainly hope so. We’ve had a tough time these last two games swinging the bat. That’s an understatement.

Q. Does your strategy change now that you’re 0-2, and if so, how?

Francona: No, our strategy is that we need to win. No, we need to win a game.

Q. You’ve obviously liked this team and the situation is obvious. Are there some things about this team’s character that you feel they might rise to the occasion now?

Francona: Well, I think that’s how we always feel. I’d rather not be down 0-2, because the team we’re playing is really good. If you put yourself in a position where you make a mistake, it can really cost you. But until they tell us to go home, we’ll take our team and keep going. That’s how we always feel.

Q. You said you guys were trying to pull Weaver quite a bit. What was he doing that was getting you to do that?

Francona: No, he throws, you know, like we talked about before the game, he throws across his body, a lot of deception. If you do try to pull the ball, you get yourself in trouble. That’s a lot easier said than done.

You know, he was pretty effective. Located everything. He pitched. He executed his game plan very well.

Q. In Josh’s last inning he went 3-0 on the first three hitters. Were you thinking about taking him out then? What were you thinking then?

Francona: I would never take him out after a 3-0 count. He’s thrown a three- or four-hitter going into that inning. No, I didn’t think he was tired. I thought he was fine.

We had [Billy] Wagner up for [Chone] Figgins, which we ended up going to anyway, but up to that point we were staying with Josh.

Read More: ALDS, Angels, Josh Beckett, Terry Francona
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