September 30, 2003
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Game One
Q. You have so much post-season experience. Do you take any different frame of mind in a post-season game than you do in a regular-season game?
ANDY PETTITTE: No, not really. Again, obviously to sit here and say it's exactly the same, I would be lying saying that. But, you know, so much of it deals with just your emotions on the mound. Just controlling yourself, controlling your emotions and stuff like that. You've got to concentrate on that a lot more in the post-season than you do in the regular season, just because the crowd gets into it so much. Just try to stay as relaxed as you can. That's pretty much it. Just try to stay relaxed and if you get tense out there, your ball doesn't seem to move quite as much as it should and stuff like that. Just hope that I can get my focus where I need it to be. Hopefully get in a good rhythm of the game early and just get in a good flow. Hopefully get all my stuff going.
Q. I know you can't predict your future or what's going to happen in this series, but in the next two days, will you allow yourself even a minute to think that this could be your last start as a Yankee?
ANDY PETTITTE: I guess definitely it will be in my head. I would be lying again saying that I wouldn't let it creep in there. But I've been able to set all that aside. I've been able to do it this whole season, and I want to continue to do it throughout this playoffs. You know, I have one focus right now, and that's trying to help this team win a World Series. And then the main focus obviously is trying to figure out how to get the Minnesota Twins out Thursday night. Ability right now is all I'm concentrating on.
Q. For the past couple of weeks, Joe was saying that the biggest difference this year from last year is the fact that he feels like he's been able to give you guys, the rotation, rest. Do you feel like that has been the case; has it worked?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, I've been hearing that. Again, I think just for me, I'm sure if Skip feels that way, he's done something a little bit different. I know from the starters' standpoint that we felt very strong last year going into the post-season. Everyone felt very comfortable. We feel great going into the post-season again this year. Didn't have to tax much on any of our last starts. It wasn't crucial going into the last week. We had separated ourselves again a little bit there to give us a chance to be able to do that, so that was good. I don't think we could feel better about the situation we were in going into the playoffs, so hopefully we can get it done this year.
Q. How would you characterize or describe Brad Radke as a pitcher? What would you expect to see from him on Thursday night?
ANDY PETTITTE: He's just a great control pitcher. Everything for most of us is location. He changes speeds great. You know he's got a great changeup and he moves the ball in and out. He moves the ball around the strike zone and he's got playoff experience and he's been the top pitcher in that rotation; I think about the same amount of times I've been pitching in the big leagues, also. He has a lot of experience and I know he's going to throw a great game for them. He's a location pitcher; not really a power pitcher. He changes speeds great and does a great job of keeping pitchers off-balance.
Q. Joe described your personality as shy and timid off the mound. How would you describe your personality on the mound?
ANDY PETTITTE: I don't know, I feel like that I've got some pretty good fire on the mound when I'm out there. I feel like I try to get focused. When I get locked in, I feel like I throw great games. I don't know, that's a tough question for me. Just a guy going out there trying to just do what I know how to do, and that's pitch. I try to keep us in the games and I just know that playing for this team, everything else will kind of take care of itself. We have a great lineup, great team and a great bullpen. That's all I've ever done here. That's a hard question for me to answer. I really don't know what my personality is out there.
Q. I guess one of the wild cards in this post-season is Contreras, and I want to get some of your thoughts about what impresses you about him and what you might think he brings to his relief role?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, I've just been sitting there and watching him the last month and kind of saying, wow. I'm very impressed with him. Since he's been back, his fastball has just gone from right here just to unbelievable. He's got unbelievable stuff. His splitter is just unhittable and his fastball is really unhittable, also, just run right up the middle of the plate with it. I really think he can help us. I know that Skip, he said he feels like he can pitch him anywhere in any situation. I believe that, with the stuff that he has, that he's able to go out there and low in the post-season like he has this last month, that he will be a tremendous boost to our bullpen, no doubt about that.
Q. When you made the team out of spring training in '94, fast forward to 2003, nine years from now, where would you like to be personally and what would you have liked to have accomplished as a team and as a pitcher, how would what you have done and what would you have hoped for?
ANDY PETTITTE: I could have never dreamed that I would have been able to have the success that I've had. Again, I feel like over the last few years, stuff-wise, that my stuff has gotten better. I feel like I've gotten stronger, my velocity has gone up. I've been able to pitch a little bit differently. More of it, I always seemed like my whole career I've always been in trouble with runners on base and stuff like that and always have to make a big pitch to get out of jams and stuff like that and it's always been a battle for me. I would never have dreamed that after nine years I would be sitting with close to 150 wins with the New York Yankees. I could not be happier with what I've been able to accomplish here.
End of FastScripts...