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October 16, 2001

Andy Pettitte


Q. Could you talk a little bit about what challenges Ichiro poses and how disruptive he can be?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I mean, obviously, he's a big key to us going into the series, if we want to have success against these guys, trying to keep him off the bases. It's tough. He causes chaos when he gets on. You've got to worry about him because you realize he can steal. You've got to bring the infielders in a little bit because you realize that he's swinging as he runs outs of the box and can just beat out a ground ball to any of the infielders. Obviously, he's a big part of the reason they have had the season they have had.

Q. You guys were obviously (inaudible).

ANDY PETTITTE: You know, I guess when you stop and think about it, you would like to keep up with that wins record or whatever it is. But just being able to come back from that series like we did, pull that off, I think we are all very motivated. We're motivated, but we realize that we've got a great thing going here, we realize what we've done over the past six years or so, and that's motivation enough right there to try to continue and just keep going with what we've got going.

Q. Has all of the cross-country flights in the last few days been draining?

ANDY PETTITTE: No, it's definitely draining. I think everybody is just ready to get through this workout here and get a nice meal in ourselves and go back to the hotel and go to sleep and get ready for tomorrow. It's very hard on the body, flying all night long, especially for two nights in a row. I think everybody is just ready to get a good night's sleep tonight and rest up and ready to get going tomorrow.

Q. You guys have won so much over the last few years, but is this year different or is it more special?

ANDY PETTITTE: I mean, I guess in a sense, just because it seems like every year we do something, we do it a little different. It's always special to be able to go on to the next round. Again, like I've said before, when we start the season, our goal is to try to get to the World Series. So it's special whenever you take each step to get to there. Again, making history, being able to win three in a row like we did in this last series when I don't think we really thought we had a chance; that's special. But it's just special just to continue to move on right now.

Q. You've seen Jeter do all kinds of things over these last few years, but what he's done in the last series with the hits he made, the plays, does that increase your appreciation?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, obviously, Derek is a great ballplayer. He's always, when we get to the post-season, he seems to bring his focus to a different level and just drives in big runs for us, gets big hits when we need it. You know, as he showed in this past series, he makes great plays when we need a play to be made. That was really a great play last night. I got to see it from the bullpen last night. So just to see how fast he was running and going in and not worrying about running into anything or anything like that was just a great effort on his part last night.

Q. How much can everybody feed off of something like that, going back to the backhand flip; obviously that is a play that might turnaround an entire post-season?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, that was -- it was obviously a huge lift for us, because I know sitting on the bench, I saw the ball go over the cutoff man's head, and I thought the run was going to score right there. And then Derek came out of nowhere. Then I thought he was just going to cut it off and then he does his little flip there. So it's just great awareness on his part. Obviously it gave us a great lift when we got that out right there. That was the biggest lift for us, just to be able to shut those guys out in that game. There's a lot of little plays that go on through the course of a game that can turn around and obviously lift your ballclub.

Q. What were the expectations?

ANDY PETTITTE: Again, we were frustrated, because we couldn't believe we lost two at home. Usually in the past, if we had gotten a well-pitched game, that we would pull it off. Hudson threw a great game against us; shut us out. That was tough for us. But again, I really felt and our clubhouse just felt like if we could win Game 3 and we knew Mussina was going, he's obviously been the best pitcher in the League I think over the last two or three months. We knew if we could just get a good game out of him there and win that game, I really think everyone felt like that we were going to win the series and I really believe that. It was just a huge start for Mussina for us, especially being here and being in his first playoff with us on this little run that we are on right now, that was a big start for him.

Q. Obviously you don't want to be put in that position again, but because you were able to come back from that, does it give you confidence thinking that even if you are down 0-2 or 1-3, if you are down in the series that you will be able to overcome it again?

ANDY PETTITTE: I think so. As a team and just for individuals, I know for me whenever I've pitched games in the past I'm able to always look back at those. If it comes down to a crucial game I've got to pitch in the future. So I can always look back to that. I think as a team we can always do that, also. We were down in '96, really didn't have a chance and we were able to pull it off. We did it again this year. I think when you have something to fall back on like this, it's always a positive for you. I think it will definitely help us.

Q. You beat them (Seattle) in six games a year ago and they lost one of the best players in the game, but how are they better than they were a year ago?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, their pitching is obviously strong. I don't think their bullpen was quite as strong as it is this year. Their starters have had great years. Their batters up and down the lineup really work you and make you throw strikes. They don't strikeout an awful lot. They do little things. They play great baseball. They play great defense. You know, they have won as many games as they have this year because they have almost done what we've done over the last five or six years; you know, pitching and defense, that's why we won. So they kind of went into that mold, I think, a little bit more. You know, it should be for a great series. They are definitely going to be tough to beat.

Q. What was your adrenaline level like in the bullpen last night? How will that compare to how you are going to feel tomorrow?

ANDY PETTITTE: Oh, I was -- I'll be relaxed tomorrow compared to what I was last night. It's a different world out in the bullpen out there, thinking that you might have to come in with a runner on in a situation like that. You know, I get loosened quick and I was warmed up quick last night and ready to go, but the adrenaline, it gets going. Whenever I get in the bullpen and maybe have to come out of the bullpen; it's a totally different situation when you're starting a game. You can prepare all day long and a couple days in advance for a start and in the bullpen, it's totally different.

End of FastScripts....

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