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November 2, 2001

Andy Pettitte


Q. You said after your last start that your stuff was so good that it was scary; that you could actually lose a game like that; is it scary to think that you may have to pitch even better?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, you know, I made a few mistakes and they capitalized on it. I hope that my stuff is as crisp as it was my first start against these guys. If it is, I feel like I'll be pretty effective again. Obviously, I feel like -- that, you know, I realize that Randy will probably pitch a great game, and so I know I'll have to be on top of my game, so -- but, yeah, it is scary to think that when I feel like I had probably had the best stuff I've had in the post-season but I wasn't able to get our team a win.

Q. Being that you had some of your best stuff in that game, can you tell us a little bit about how workouts have been in the days since, and if you feel like you've been as sharp or how it compares with the days before that start?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, my workouts and everything, I feel good. This time I've kind of tapered off a little bit. I had my little throwing session a couple of nights ago, I was available for the bullpen, so I didn't throw on the day that I usually would have. I threw yesterday instead. But I feel good. Everything feels sharp and again, I hope -- I hope that I can get everything going tomorrow night.

Q. Where were you last night during Brosius's homer and the game-winning hit and how are you feeling taking the ball after maybe two of the best games since you've been a Yankee?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I was in the dugout, sitting there talking with Roger, and we were literally talking about how if we didn't say -- well, we can go out there and throw two good games and win, right? And all of a sudden right before I got it out of my mouth, we threw our hands up in the air because we know Brosius hit it out. It was amazing. It was awesome. It was good. I feel great. We feel like we got some momentum going. Obviously this is their ballpark, they have got two great pitchers going here, one, for sure, and hopefully it will carry over. Hopefully we can get a win tomorrow night and end this thing, but we've got a lot of work ahead of us. We know that.

Q. I know you pitched the clincher when the Yankees beat San Diego, but what goes through your mind when you know you're going to have the chance to wrap up another World Series championship?

ANDY PETTITTE: Really it's the same approach, whether it's an elimination game or you know it is the clinching game. We are going into tomorrow, we feel like we have got to win. We want to win tomorrow. We've got to wrap this thing up. Me, as far as the start, I try to block that out. I try to focus on what I want to do, how I want to attack the hitters and not worry about anything else and worry about that after they have told me I am done for the night or if I may still be out there pitching. I'm not going to get too carried away with anything right now, or too excited or too emotional. I just want to go out there and give us a solid start and get things going in the right direction and get things going from there with it.

Q. After two games like the last two nights, how hard is it for the team to come down and look ahead, or on the flight today was everyone still sky-high?

ANDY PETTITTE: I think everybody is just -- you know, it's been a long post-season and it's been a hard post-season for us. We were just normal on the flight together. I think everybody was tired, trying to get some rest on the flight. I think everybody, again, I said realized we've got some good momentum going and would love to try to finish this thing off tomorrow. But, you know, after a win like that, obviously, our spirits are very high right now. We feel very confident.

Q. The last time you were in this building, you walked out of here down 0-2 and five days later you walk back in up 3-2, obviously an entirely different emotional situation. What does it say about this team's poise to not be able to get too far down or panic in that situation to get to where you are now?

ANDY PETTITTE: I really felt like -- I didn't think they were going to be so close, the games at home but I really felt like -- I really felt like we would win all three games at home, I did and I know everybody else in the clubhouse did. I didn't think we would make it so tough, but we just have a lot of confidence and just have a lot of confidence in our pitching staff, and we knew eventually, you know, the guys would get the big hits. We didn't expect them to do it so late in the game, you know, to do it like that. But everybody just really has so much confidence in each other. They always pick each other up, it seems like. So, you know, obviously, we feel very good coming back, being up in the series after leaving here losing two.

Q. Does that lack of hitting, except in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, does that put more pressure on you to pitch a good, low-scoring ballgame?

ANDY PETTITTE: Obviously, you know we realize as a pitching staff, we are not swinging the bats great right now. But again in the post-season it's always a low-scoring game, and you've got to go in thinking, it's the best pitchers in the League throwing right now against each other. So you've got to go in thinking that a run, two here, hopefully we can scratch some off Randy this time instead; he shut us out last time. So we realize it is going to be a battle and it should be low-scoring games and runs are going to be hard to come by. We know that tomorrow night we are going to have to scratch and claw for every run that we are able to get.

Q. What's going through your mind last night, and also on the bench when the crowd is chanting O'Neill's name at the end of the game?

ANDY PETTITTE: I was just actually kind of talking to myself, trying to motion to him. I was taking my hat off, telling him, tip your hat, do something. It was pretty emotional. Obviously, I'm pretty close with Pauly. It's sad to see him leaving. I know that -- how emotional it was for him, and going through that, he had nowhere to go. He was standing out there on the field and everybody was chanting his name and he didn't know what to do. He was just kind of soaking it all in. So it was a very special moment when that happened, and they gave him, obviously, when he came off, they gave him a great ovation when he came into the dugout.

Q. You guys have tended to take everything in stride and not ever really say that you are shocked or surprised by anything that happens, but what's happened the last two nights is that something where you guys say, "This is unbelievable"? What is the general team emotion of what's happened?

ANDY PETTITTE: You know, what's happened the last two nights is -- I don't know. It's just almost -- you are just scratching your head. I can't believe it happened, I really can't. But yet, we've been able to do so much stuff since I've been here, but then you stop and think about it and you're like, well, let's just make some more history. It's just been amazing. I really don't know what to say about it. I'm glad to be here. I'm glad to be a part of it. This is really a special group of guys that we have got together.

Q. Do you watch those games, last couple of nights, this whole series, like a fan in a lot of fans in the country are thinking this is great baseball. Can you ever step back and say that yourself? Do you have as much fun as everybody else?

ANDY PETTITTE: Not really. I'm a little stressed out because you're think being, you know you might be the one pitching the game, the elimination game if we don't pull it out here. (Laughs). So you are sitting there on the bench, and being on the team and obviously knowing our hitters and stuff like that and just wanting them to get it done and not being able to, and just seeing them get a little frustrated and stuff like that, you know, but then, just to see when Scotty hits the home run, when Tino hits the home run, just how great this game is and how great baseball is and how great Yankee Stadium is, whenever we are able to do stuff like that. It's just amazing. Then you can kind of sit back, and then after the game is over -- and obviously, when you get done in the off-season, sit back and think about it more, what a special time it was.

Q. The Yankees did not quite seem themselves the first two games here. You pitched great here, but it's a different atmosphere, how much more comfortable will you be as a team having been here last week?

ANDY PETTITTE: I think we will be more comfortable, I really do. The first two games, they threw great games. Curt threw a great game and Randy was dominating. When you have that kind of pitching, it's going to make you look bad, it's going to make you look flat and stuff like that. So, hopefully this time around, I know we saw Curt for a second time and he still pitched great against us. So, hopefully this time around, we can get Randy and hopefully he will make some mistakes and we'll be able to take advantage of it and put some stuff together off of him. I expect us to play a lot better game, I really do.

Q. As much as you enjoyed those home runs, as a pitcher and a guy whose probably given up a few home runs in his time as well, is there a side of that you can feel for Kim and what he's gone through with all of the -- the all-time goat situation he's facing right now?

ANDY PETTITTE: I mean, yeah, that's -- obviously, you can't be human and not feel for what he's went through the last two nights. That's a tough situation. But, you know, he's their closer. He's in the big leagues and there's not a lot of people that could pitch in the big leagues and do that job. You know, he got an out away from closing out two games in the World Series, so I know them guys over there are supporting him; I saw that last night after the game and stuff like that. But as a fan, as a baseball player, obviously, you feel for that situation. You don't want to see anybody go through that -- something like that.

End of FastScripts....

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