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October 14, 2003

Andy Pettitte


Q. I asked John Burkett this also, obviously today's game is going to determine whether you are going to be pitching with a 3-2 lead or down 3-2, can you talk about the mindset of both scenarios, how it might affect you pressure-wise and being anxious?

ANDY PETTITTE: Again, really no matter what the situation, just try to go out there and see what you have working and try to pitch as well as you can with what you've got. Obviously we would like to be up 3-2. If you're down 3-2, you just know that if you don't get this one done, you know you'll be heading home. Again, it won't change my mindset either way, how I'm going to approach the game. Obviously, a little more pressure when you know that this could be it.

Q. Were you given the choice to go back to New York and if so, reason why you decided to stay?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I mean, you know, just going to stay. Usually they fly us out early, but I kind of want to be here with the team, obviously. It's not going to be late getting back in, so it was really, I think, more precautionary just sending me out if there happened to be a rain delay or something like that. We are going to get home at a good hour even if there was any delays or anything like that.

Q. How do you think the big games that you have pitched in your career and having that experience to draw on is going to help you tomorrow?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, you know, everything that I've done in the past isn't going to help. I really don't feel like it's going to help me for tomorrow. I just have to get out there for tomorrow, and again, like I've said in this post-season, hopefully I can get going and get in a good rhythm and have all of my stuff working. That's the only thing that's going to help me tomorrow. Really everything that's happened in the past, I know how -- you know what to expect. I know what to expect, no matter what the situation is. You know, there's nothing in the past, really, I believe, besides just knowing that I've been through it already that can help me for tomorrow except getting it out there and just getting it done.

Q. Would you feel more comfortable pitching in a day game or night game or does it matter?

ANDY PETTITTE: It really doesn't matter. Either way is fine with me. The only way I would say, just a day game, if I had my preference, is just because you don't have to sit around all day and wait until 8:18 to start the game. It's so late to start the game. Once you wake up and get going, you would rather get going as soon as possible. Either way it doesn't matter too much to me. I've pitched night games already. Both starts in the post-season have been night games.

Q. Last night after the game, Mussina expressed a lot of anger and frustration for lack of run support and I'm sure you can sympathize with him as a pitcher but does that sit well amongst teammates; obviously he did it in the heat of the moment but are you okay in the clubhouse when a pitcher says stuff like that?

ANDY PETTITTE: I really don't -- I haven't heard anything what you're talking about right now so I really don't know what you're talking about. Mike's had a tough go at it this post-season as far as with the run support and I feel like he's thrown the ball great. I know it's frustrating for him right now. He wants to win those games like the rest of us want to win. That might have been something that was said after the game last night in frustration or whatever. We are as unified as we can get in the clubhouse and everybody is pulling in the same direction. We just weren't able to get it done last night. You have to give Tim a lot of credit. He threw the ball great and guys coming back to the bench said the ball was moving all over the place. These games in the post-season are usually low-scoring and they are close games and runs are at a premium. You know, everything is great in our clubhouse.

Q. Joe invariably refers back to the Atlanta 1-0 shutout in '96, explaining how he started having faith in you. What did that game, if anything, do for you; did you come out of that as a different pitcher or person?

ANDY PETTITTE: Again, more than anything, it's just that I know -- I knew that I had done that. Like I said, tomorrow, that's not going to help me. I have to figure out what I have going tomorrow and pitch. You just know that you can get it done and I think once you've had success, it does carry over and it gives you a certain amount of confidence when you take the mound in some big games. Really, it's just kind of funny, because again, like I've said a thousand times, I've had bad, bad starts in the post-season, also. And I thought they were big, big games for us. Game 6 in the World Series, 2001, we could have wrapped that series up right there and I wasn't able to get it done. Again, more than anything, it's just being able to look back at that one and know that I've been able to have some success under that kind of pressure and just been able to carry it over, I believe.

Q. Getting back to your travel plans, do you prefer this way, do you prefer to stay with the team and does that help you keep you more like you're a team, it's a regular start than if they sent you home early?

ANDY PETTITTE: If we were getting in late, I would be leaving, if they were planning on getting in at 1, 2 o'clock in the morning. I would definitely be leaving so I would try to get in bed at a normal time. If I'm not going to be getting in late, I would rather stay here and be able to be here and cheer my teammates on.

Q. In talking about tomorrow's start, how much at this time of year do you look at weather reports and temperatures; is there a difference between preparing for 40 degrees and 60 degrees or when you take the mound, does it feel like any other baseball game? Tell me about the weather factors.

ANDY PETTITTE: The game against Minnesota, it was pretty cool that night. That plays in a little bit. I always look at the weather. I want to know how it's going to be, if there's a chance of rain. As pitchers we are such creatures of habit. You don't want anything to mess with your program, I guess. In these games, usually you expect it to be cool, so it's October and you expect it to be a little chilly night. Really the only thing that could ever come into a factor is the wind, if the wind is really blowing and stuff like that. Against Minnesota, I think it was kind of windy and I had a little bit of trouble I thought commanding some of my pitches early. Other than that, that really, really doesn't play a big factor.

Q. Is it harder to get loose and stay into your routine, talking about the creature of habit, when it is colder and not normal baseball weather?

ANDY PETTITTE: Again, not really. If it's cold, I always go into the clubhouse anyways and I have my jacket on and stuff like that. Really, you cover up, if it's cold and you stay warm. You stay warm like you would if it was 75 or 80 degrees out. You just figure out a way to keep your body at that temperature. That really is not a factor at all.

Q. Given the enormous amount of offensive baseball over the last five years and what some see as a lack of accountability for pitchers not having to bat when they brush people back, is it a good time to get rid of the DH?

ANDY PETTITTE: You know, I guess I don't value my opinion too much on questions like that. I don't think so, just because that's just the way the game's been played since I've known it. It's the American League and we've always had a DH. Like I was just saying, I'm a creature of habit. I don't really like a whole lot of change in my life. For me, DH is always there. I just assume it's going to stay there. Would I prefer facing a pitcher instead of DHs in the American League? Definitely. So from that standpoint of it, I think it would make life a lot easier on some of the pitchers in the American League. You know, I'm not really sure exactly which way I would prefer it.

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