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October 17, 2001

Andy Pettitte


Q. You had your problems with the Mariners during the regular season. What did you do different against them today?

ANDY PETTITTE: I did have problems with them during the regular season. I just had good stuff today. I really felt like I had a good curveball, a better curveball than I've had in a while, today. I was really able to throw it for strikes whenever I wanted to. I was able just to move my fastball around a little bit, and then, you know, the big key to when I have success is getting some ground ball double plays, and I was able to do that today, also.

Q. Talk about the seventh inning and the at-bat with Martinez.

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, Boone got a lead-off hit, I think, and yeah, Edgar is up. Edgar gives everybody fits. So it's a situation where I'm really trying to bear down on him right there and get an out, make -- trying to make quality pitches but yet try not to walk him, yet he laid off some tough pitches and worked me to 3-2. Tino actually came over and relaxed me a little bit, came over and talked to me and told me that it was very hard for him to see when he was hitting the inning before, which really relaxed me a little bit; made me feel like I had a little bit of an advantage maybe. So that helped me. And just I was able to make a good pitch to him, 3-2, got him to chase a ball, and obviously a double play to get out of it, a cutter.

Q. When you are pitching a game like this, how much do you draw on your experiences of the past?

ANDY PETTITTE: It's, again, just a matter of trying to get your focus, trying to realize no matter what kind of jam you're in, you're only a few pitches from getting out of it, a few quality pitches. So just trying to make a quality pitch every time. I got a little careless with Cameron and it really hurt me it. Was a big part of the game. I had two strikes on him and just got real aggressive and made a bad pitch, just a ball he handled real well and threw it right there for him. That was frustrating for me, after I pitched so well early in the game, to almost let them right back in the game right there. But obviously, when you have had success in the past, you can always lean back on that.

Q. How tough was it in the days leading up to Game 5 against the A's, with Roger's uncertainty?

ANDY PETTITTE: It was tough. Because I was, you know, Mel had told me, and Roger told me, basically, to be ready to go. So just not knowing if you're going to pitch. Whenever I pitch, it's easy because you've been through it and you know you're going to pitch that day. The bullpen is something that you really have to adjust to. I didn't -- I'm glad I didn't have to be used for that game, obviously. I didn't handle that situation real well.

Q. Knowing that Ichiro was hitting .600 in the post-season, how did you approach him?

ANDY PETTITTE: Obviously, I know he's a great hitter. He's a huge part; if they are going to have success, he gets on. He causes a lot of problems on base when he gets on. I just try to change his eye level and just move the ball around. He's got such good hand eye coordination, I just really wanted to move the ball around, not show two pitches in a row exactly the same. I was able to have success against him today. He's a great hitter. You're not going to keep him down and I was very fortunate to get him out today.

Q. Are you conscious of your concentration being better in the post-season than in the regular season, and if so, how does it show up in just making pitches at the right time?

ANDY PETTITTE: I think so. Being able to take it, I guess, to a little bit higher level than in the regular season, you know, but again, just trying to make quality pitches. It made everything a lot easier for me today when I went out there and I had a good breaking ball. I felt today like my arm strength is getting back a little bit. Going into the post-season I wasn't real comfortable with where I was as far as my arm strength because I got hit with a line drive in my elbow and stuff, and with everything that happened with us being delayed from playing a week and stuff, really going into the post-season, I really wasn't feeling great about the strength of my arm. But after the start against Oakland, obviously, and today my arm strength feels like it's getting back to where it was.

Q. Paul talked about going out to dinner with you last night and sensing you were ready; did you sense anything about him that he's been struggling? Has he been down at all?

ANDY PETTITTE: We just talked, again, about how I think that we are both able to take it -- I think our whole team, just take it to a different level once we get to the post-season, and we have a confidence. He's a special kind of player that can do that, also. I really felt like he was going to have a good game today. We had a nice meal last night and we were both ready for today.

End of FastScripts....

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