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November 1, 2001

Randy Johnson


Q. How do you and Curt sort of feed off of each other, going, watching each other pitch, but the domination of the two of you together, how does that affect your performance, his performance?

RANDY JOHNSON: That's a question that I think both of us have been asked all year long. Curt arrived to the team last year in the trade and came over after having shoulder surgery and wasn't completely healed up. He had felt like he wasn't everything that he wanted to be or that the team wanted him to be, and so, during the off-season, he got completely healthy and was on a mission to come back and be an impact to the success of this team this year. As far as the combined type of thing, you know, prior to Curt being in Arizona, I haven't changed. I'm doing the same thing I've been doing from when I left Seattle to when I arrived in Arizona. We compliment one another because he is now coming into his own and he's had his big year this year and with the combination of the two of us, it's been a real good thing.

Q. Can you talk about Batista and what he is like off the field?

RANDY JOHNSON: I think he's a very talented and warrior-like pitcher. I think today is his opportunity to open a lot of eyes, eyes that have already been opened up in Arizona. We have seen with what he has done. Without him and Bobby Witt, the combined wins that they have brought to the ballclub we would not be here. Miguel won 11 games, I think, and Bobby Witt won about four or five. So, most of our pitching staff, because of me and Curt, have not gotten the recognition that they deserve. If he goes out and pitches the way he's capable of pitching, I think that he will wake up a lot of eyes on a big stage.

Q. Your teammates have remarked the last few starts how relaxed you have been in the clubhouse prior to the game compared to a year ago; how has that evolved for you and will you be able to do that in Game 6?

RANDY JOHNSON: There's no rhyme or reason why I'm relaxed. Maybe they are just taking notice of some of the things that I am doing now. As far as Game 6, I'll go out with the same game plan as I went out with in Game 2. Obviously, I hope it's a situation where we win today and we can try and, obviously, clinch it at home. But we're dealing with a team that has experience in these situations of post-season, and, you know, I just -- we have a lot of faith in Miguel Batista, who is pitching today for us, and we'll just take it one game at a time.

Q. Knowing Curt as you've come to know him, last night, he said that he felt he had at least another inning in him. Can you tell whether he might have had an extra inning or more in him and could have stayed in the game?

RANDY JOHNSON: The one thing you can't -- you guys can write your stories and people can speculate what you want but you can never measure someone's heart. I've played with Curt all this year and played with him for I think about a month or two last year, and it's a situation where adrenaline takes over quite a bit in these kind of games. Sometimes, the adrenaline and your mental state will allow you to do things that you would not normally be able to do physically. If you are fatigued and mentally think you are fatigued then you are going to be fatigued but physically you are fatigued and mentally you are not talking yourself into that, then you might be able to get one more inning. We have to have confidence and we do have confidence in our bullpen. There's no reason why Curt had to finish that game. The Yankee starters don't finish their game; they bring in their closer. That's the kind of confidence we have in our closer. He said that I guess he wasn't tired, but, you know, BK came in and pitched great in Game 5 in the NLCS and pitched two innings and shut down the Braves and he did great, made one bad pitch. At this stage, it's obviously -- can be a situation where there could be a lot of subplots and a lot of story lines and stuff like that, but we have a lot of confidence in our bullpen and we would not be here without BK. He saved quite a few games for us this year.

Q. Over the years, have you made a conscious effort to develop your height on the mound as an intimidating factor to hitters or does it come naturally?

RANDY JOHNSON: Well, every fifth day I go into traction and try to stretch my body out. (Laughter.) No, I mean, the one thing that I have to say is if a hitter feels that I'm intimidated or he's intimidated by me, then I have to get that hitter out, for obvious reasons, I don't want to give him the upper hand and I've always felt that way against left-handers. It's no surprise when I pitched in Game 2, I faced a predominately right-handed lineup, it's not that big of a deal to me. I've been doing that for about the last four or five years. I go out there with the mentality that, you know, shut the team down and do the best I can, and if the team wants to be intimidated by me, then I don't -- do the theatrics of trying to be intimidating. It's almost a situation where I go out there and sometimes I don't realize what I'm doing, but I go out there and do the best I can and try and dominate the game.

Q. This being the second time around, do the Yankees batters have an advantage; do you think you have an advantage after what you did; or is this no advantage?

RANDY JOHNSON: I don't know. They know what I throw. But I was fully prepared and, I mean, I'm not going to say anything that will be headlines for Game 6, but I have a lot of confidence in my ability, I always have. I'm at this stage now of my career where, I'm where I want to be, to let my talent take over. Am I going to go out and pitch a shutout? I'm not going to say that, but the bottom line; I want to pitch good enough so we win, and I don't know if there's any advantage. They have obviously seen me. There's no other pitches that I've come up with in the last couple of days that I'm willing to let you guys know about, so I've just got to go out there and make my pitches and it's really about execution and during the course of the game when B.A., pitched I was just telling him, reminding him about location, every pitch. Doesn't matter how hard you throw, but if you execute your location and make the pitches when you need to make them, then you are going to have some success.

Q. How do people pull themselves together after the devastation of a game like last night?

RANDY JOHNSON: Well, I would not say it was devastation. This is the World Series. It's a situation where, obviously, we had the game where we wanted it, but the game is not over till it's over. You know, you just tip your hat to them and we'll come out today. And the one thing that I think we've proven all year long that, going into spring training that was maybe criticized is this is a team full of veterans and because it's veterans we will bounce back after a game like last night. If this was a team of younger players, it may have stayed with us last night and today, but being veteran players, it will easily wash off our back and we'll go out today and it's a new ballgame.

Q. Knowing that this is probably a side day for you and also that BK went as long as he did yesterday, would you offer your services late in the game to Bob if the situation came up tonight?

RANDY JOHNSON: Whatever he wants. When we started the series, we were asked to go in and talk to Brenly about the possibility of throwing three days' rest and I was the first one to speak up about that. I have done that several times in my career, did it five times in '95 and a few times in post-season. Whatever we need to do to win a ballgame, I'm fine with that. I think it's a mentality that each pitcher takes upon themselves whether they can pitch on three days' rest. In '95 after pitching Game 3 against the Yankees I had a days' rest and I offered my services to Lou and I pitched three innings. So, this is not regular season. This is World Series and adrenaline takes over, and you realize that, you know, the effort that you give may be the difference in the ballgame and you've got plenty of time to rest during the off-season.

Q. You had mentioned after your first victory during this post-season that you had gotten a gorilla off your back, what does it mean to you to be able to put together some wins like this and put to rest some of the things that had been said about you and your post-season career?

RANDY JOHNSON: You guys in here were the ones that were saying it. I gave up two runs to the Braves and that was good enough to lose in the prior year, so it's another game. I stand by my words and felt like I pitched good all of my post-season games, except for two, and I think I've pitched a total of seven or eight times prior to that. It's not always how good you pitch, but when you pitch on those particular days and post-season. I think we have all witnessed it has really come down to pitching from the very beginning of this post-season here; that low-scoring ball games, errors are going to be big, making quality pitches at the right time, which is going to be every inning, every pitch, is really going to be to your benefit to do that. Because one run can be the difference in the ballgame.

End of FastScripts....

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