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October 27, 2001

Andy Pettitte


Q. You've talked in the past about the added mental pressure of pitching in the post-season compared to the regular season, would you talk about it again?

ANDY PETTITTE: I don't think that I've too much talked about the mental. More, I've talked about how as a pitcher, I feel like you take it to another level. Obviously, the magnitudes of the games are a lot more important, so every pitch, there's a lot more riding on each pitch, obviously. So you've really just got to be more in tune with every pitch that you National League park that's exciting for us in the American League because we want to hit but it's kind of a bummer I have to face him. I was kind of looking forward to facing him this year. It looks like I might be the only left-hander in our lineup. (Laughter.) We'll get in there and I'll try to get the bunt down if I have to, but, you know, everybody is telling me to look out towards second base because that's where the ball is going to be coming from, basically. It's going to be tough, obviously to hit off of him or even try to get a bunt down off of him, but just try to do the best I can.

Q. What have you learned about Bank One Ballpark that could help you a lot?

ANDY PETTITTE: We've had our practices at night, especially the first one was a little bit later than the game time will be, normal game time. It seemed like balls, you know, out in the gaps, it's fairly big. I heard the ball carried well here and it might, you know, tomorrow or whatever. You know, it looks like a fairly decent-sized ballpark as far as the pitching and stuff like that. Other than that, I'm not going to pay much attention to anything else. Just try to throw my game and no matter really where I pitch, whether it's Fenway with the short wall or whatever, I usually stick to my game plan, what I'm going to try to do to the hitters and try not to vary too much from that.

Q. What do you remember from watching Randy Johnson beat you guys in the '95 playoffs?

ANDY PETTITTE: I was pretty amazed, my rookie year, and to see him start a game against us -- I think he won and he came in in relief on like a days rest or two days' rest or something like that and came in and threw some shutout innings. I remember seeing him then and realizing that, you know, what an unbelievable power pitcher he was, and how hard it is to manufacture anything off of him. I think he pitched two pretty good games and then game in relief one. It's going to be hard to manufacture stuff against him, especially the way he's throwing the ball now. He was a little wilder, I think, back then than he is now, so he's gotten a lot better and stuff like that. At least back then you could get a few walks off him or put together a hit and you might be able to score. I think the big difference now is he's got good command of his pitches now.

Q. What do you remember about your first major league hit and what kind of a hitter were you like in high school and college?

ANDY PETTITTE: High school, my senior year, I played first base. I went to a big 5 school, a didn't get to hit that much. I hit .365 my senior year, that's about hitting .150 or something in the big legs everybody hits like .500 in high school. I was not a good hitter, didn't have much pop at all, but -- my first Major League hit, off Alex Fernandez, he threw a little slider and a little ground ball in between first and second and it's sitting on my desk in my office, actually. (Laughter.)

Q. Earlier this week you said you did not know much about Arizona's lineup, after a couple of scouting meetings what have you learned?

ANDY PETTITTE: We went through the reports. You know, again, I'm going to have to just go with the way I'm going to pitch lefty's, which is the way I've pitched them in the past and the way I've pitched righty's in the past, and really, unless I talk to one of the scouts and they tell me a certain hitter can hurt me in a certain area I'll try to stay away from that. There's a couple of guys in their lineup that I feel like there's some balls that they can handle that I like to go to sometimes, and I'll try to make adjustments around that. But I'm just going to continue to try to pitch to my strengths and the way I've been pitching in the post-season here and hopefully I don't get burnt by that.

Q. You have four world championship rings and ten post-season wins, yet the focus has been on Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. Is there any part of you that's saying, hey, what about me?

ANDY PETTITTE: Again, really that's the way it's been my whole career. I've become accustomed to that. Like I said the other day, whenever I won the MVP, I don't -- I don't go out and strikeout a lot of people. I don't go out and really I don't see myself going out as dominating games. Sometimes I just get the other guys out and don't let them score too much. You know, I think that's why they obviously get so much attention because they are so dominating out there on the mound. I kind of do it in a, I guess, in an ugly fashion. (Laughs).

Q. What does the team feel about the O'Neill situation? Obviously, without the DH he cannot play. Is that why Joe gets the big Bucks, to make decisions like that?

ANDY PETTITTE: Right. You know, I don't think -- obviously everyone would like to see Paul in the lineup. Skip makes the decisions. He's made a lot of right decisions and a lot of right calls over the last six years since he's been our manager. It's just a situation where everyone can't play and he's got to go with his gut feeling, which he does always. Hopefully, you know, Pauly will come in if he has to in a pinch-hit situation or whatever and get a big hit. Obviously you hate to not see him in there, but I know DJ has had really good numbers off of Schilling.

Q. Can you talk about Jorge's pitch calls, and how it has improved since last year? And also, are you going to get together with him a little bit beforehand and talk things over?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, obviously, he's come a long way. He has not been catching, you know, his whole life. He started catching in the Minor Leagues, so he still continues to be a work in progress and I think he's done a great job. He's caught me now for the last two or three years and I think we have each become more and more comfortable with each other. He understands and he realizes in certain situations what I want to do with a hitter and stuff like that. It allows me to just throw it to him and let's me figure out what I want to do in certain situations and certain hitters. Par as far as the other. As far as the other part of the question, before the game, we'll go through each hitter and we'll figure out a way. We've already talked about it a little bit, just the way we want to try to attack them from what we've seen in the scouting reports, what little bit we have seen on TV. We'll go through each of the hitters tomorrow before the game starts and that's it, we'll just go from there.

Q. Not having pitched in this ballpark before, are you more likely to change in the middle innings, depending on what you see or what they do?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, just to help me as far as not pitching here, the first work out, I threw off the main mound. I had to move some stuff, just so you could see the lane going down to the plate, because it is an awkward feeling when you have never pitched in a ballpark and then walk out there on the mound. But obviously, during the course of the game, if I see that they are trying to make adjustments to what I'm trying to do, then you have to make adjustments as a pitcher, but I'm not going to change my approach at all as far as what I'm trying to do, pitching to these hitters.

Q. As dominating as Randy Johnson and Schilling have been, this is still Randy Johnson's first World Series, what do you remember about your first World Series start? And do you think nerves and jitters will play a part in this for them?

ANDY PETTITTE: I think it could, early, maybe just the first inning or so. But after that, you kind of settle in. Especially for them, they are power pitchers, so I think if they have nerves or jitters, it's going to help them, maybe throw them a little bit harder, which might bring them up in the zone a little bit, which we might get some hits off that. My first start in '96, it hurt me, because I was, he was nervous and pumped up and back then I was more of a sinkerball pitcher and trying to sink everything and move the ball around. I got hurt, I moved some balls up in the zone. My first start was not very good at home in '96 against Atlanta and I thought I blew the World Series for us, our bullpen had to come in and stuff. I don't think it will affect them guys, they have been around so long. I what was still a young pitcher.

End of FastScripts....

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