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October 9, 2003

Andy Pettitte


Q. Joe Torre said at the beginning, he had to calm you down a little bit, you were too pumped up; what did you specifically do to get back to your usual form of pitching?

ANDY PETTITTE: You know, tonight it was really tough for me to ever really get back in my usual form. It was a struggle for me all night. Really, I was hoping after the first inning, I would relax a little bit and feel a little bit more comfortable and not try to overthrow. But it was a battle for me tonight as far as locating my ball and then putting the ball where I wanted to. These guys got a great lineup and are very tough on me.

Q. You've been sort of a bend-but-not-break guy throughout your Yankee career; where does that come from? Is it something within?

ANDY PETTITTE: I mean, I'd like to think so. I really feel like all through the minors and stuff like that, and then obviously early in my career, I just always have been a guy that seems like I give up a lot of hits and I'm in a lot of trouble usually when I'm out there pitching. I had to make a lot of big pitches tonight and fortunately I was able to get away from it. I was very fortunate tonight, to get through the first two innings. I really thought that they might be bunting there when I was able to get that double play and that was huge. I made a good pitch there to Kapler and was able to get a double play and that was really a big point in the game as far as I was concerned.

Q. Did you go back into the dugout after the second inning and kind of feel like it was a huge relief that you only got through that with just one?

ANDY PETTITTE: There's no doubt about it. I felt good about it, to get out of that inning with just giving up one. And just knew -- man, I knew that I had threw so many pitches through the first two innings and was trying to figure out a way that I was going to last in the game. I just knew if I could hold them there at one and again like I said, you really don't feel like you're going to be able to shut them out, but if you could keep it close late in the game, it really is a strategy, to give us a chance. You know, Nick got the big home run, did a great job. Jorge stayed with me again all night and had great patience with me, because again, I was fighting myself so bad. The team played great. Defensively we were great. You know, some big hits when we needed to, and then what can you say about Jose, he came in, stuff is just electric and did a great job there in relief.

Q. It's no secret you and Roger are close and have a great bond. Have you and Roger talked at all about his upcoming appearance on Saturday, possibly being his last appearance at Fenway and some of his thoughts about that?

ANDY PETTITTE: No, we really -- I think he might have mentioned when he knew it was going to a Game 5, Oakland and Boston, he just mentioned to me that he said it looks like it will be me against Pedro probably on Saturday. That's it. You don't want to get too caught up in all that right now, especially playoff games. I think he's focused on how he wants to go out there and attack the hitters. Right now, put all of that aside. I think he kind of had his farewell day in Boston. I think he's just focusing on how to get these guys out now.

Q. With the extra days of rest, did they really serve to become kind of an extra -- were you just pumped up, a little overjuiced going into today; were the first two innings a by-product of that?

ANDY PETTITTE: I guess so. Like I said, I feel like -- did I have two extra days -- it was two extra days. Definitely then. Because I've been pitching a few times at the end of the season on six day and I was feeling good, but that one extra day, I had a hard time. I had a hard time locating my fastball and really that's how I pitch and it sets up everything for me. Like I said I would have to contribute that to a little bit of the reason why I was overthrowing probably.

Q. What about feeling the weight of the series, did you feel that even more so than last week against the Twins?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, you know, I just -- I guess kinda, sorta. I'm just so focused on just going out there and trying to pitch my game, not worrying about what's going on, not worrying about where the series is and just trying to get out there and relax and to make my pitches. You know, like I said, get through those first couple of innings, I felt like I would be able to relax a little bit, but I wasn't able to get my pitches where I wanted to. I was leaving a lot of balls up with two strikes when I was trying to put guys away. Like I said, it was very fortunate to get away with some of the stuff early in the game like I did.

Q. Can you say what Mel told you when he came out, because it was the pitch before the Kapler double play and can you put into terms being able to get through the seventh inning how big getting that double play was that you're still pitching in the seventh inning?

ANDY PETTITTE: I really -- I can't tell you exactly what he said because it was during the inning out there. Probably just, "You're overthrowing, stay back," I'm sure. I know I was just agreeing with him and said, yeah, I'm trying to figure it out. There was so much talking going on in this game, in between innings and when he came out there, trying to figure out a way to get me down and relax a little bit. And yeah, I think you were asking me about the double play to Kapler --

Q. What was the pitch?

ANDY PETTITTE: It was a cutter. Like I said I thought he would be bunting right there, and I was trying to run something in on his hands. Fortunately, he was swinging and I was able to jam him and I was able to get a big ground ball right there. That was obviously a big reason why I was able to get through that inning without as many pitches and get a little bit later into the game like I did.

End of FastScripts...

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