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October 13, 2001

C.C. Sabathia


Q. Take us through your morning and what you were thinking about?

C.C. SABATHIA: I woke up and I actually slept pretty good last night. I wasn't nervous at all. When I got on the mound that first inning, man, it was just a totally different feeling. I was excited, I was nervous all in one. I think that's what shook me up in the first.

Q. Could you talk about those two at-bats with Buhner and Wilson, after you walked Olerud; what you got them out on and what you were thinking about?

C.C. SABATHIA: I was just trying to get a ground ball to either Alomar or Travis, Jimmy, somebody. I just threw a fastball away and was lucky he popped them up. I was just trying to get two outs with one pitch.

Q. What got you on track in the first inning?

C.C. SABATHIA: Robbie came up and talked to me and said, "Everybody knows you can pitch. You've been doing it all year. Just settle down and throw strikes. We are going to score runs." That helped me out a lot.

Q. Later on in the game when the lead kept building and building, what did that do; did that loosen you up and just allow you to challenge them?

C.C. SABATHIA: Yeah, that's exactly what I did. The lead grew more and more. It was 2-1. I just wanted to go out there in the second inning and put up a "0" and let my team know I was trying to go out there and win, too. When we kept building a lead -- I threw a lot of fastballs today because we had a big lead. I didn't want to fool around and walk a couple of guys; I just wanted to put the ball in play.

Q. Talk about back in the first inning, when all of a sudden you had two runs, while you were in the dugout, what were you thinking?

C.C. SABATHIA: When I came in the dugout, I just looked at Dick and I laughed. Everybody knew I was nervous. He knew I was nervous. I knew I was nervous. Probably all you guys knew I was nervous. We just looked at each other and laughed and he said, "Go out there and put up a zero." I wanted my teammates to know I wanted to win and I could go out there and put a zero out for them.

Q. Was there a specific pitch to Wilson or Buhner that made you think you could calm down?

C.C. SABATHIA: After Buhner popped up, after he popped out, I went back on the mound and I was just like, okay, settle down. I took a deep breath and just tried to put a strike on the outside corner, and he put it in play and popped it up.

Q. In spring training did you ever think you could pitch as big a game as today?

C.C. SABATHIA: You always put yourself in those kinds of situations, and you do it a lot, but there's nothing like going out there and doing it. I always think about pitching in big games, but that's the first time I had a chance to do it and it's an awesome feeling.

Q. You said you felt good this morning. When did that really kick in when you felt overcome by the excitement?

C.C. SABATHIA: When I ran out there and I seen all the people and their waving those towels and everything. Everybody was just upbeat and it was electric and it got me jittery, too.

Q. Did you watch the '97 playoffs when Jaret Wright pitched and was that any more benefit to you having pitched the entire season?

C.C. SABATHIA: Yeah, I watched him pitch in '97. I think he went out there and went right after people. He had no fear, and I think that's the attitude that you have to take. He went right after guys in every series. So I think that helped him out a lot. As far as me pitching the whole year, those 30-some-odd starts what I had during the year, nothing compared to the start I had today. I never felt like I felt today. I'm going to feel like that a lot more. Hopefully there will be a lot more playoff games.

Q. Can you describe that feeling? What's it like?

C.C. SABATHIA: I don't know, the closest thing I can put this to is when I was a little kid and my mom would take me Toys R Us. When you get that anxious feeling going into Toys R Us and you can pick out anything you want. That was what the feeling was like. I was like a little kid in a candy store. It was awesome. (Laughter.)

Q. The Yankees, Mariners and A's all had a lot of accolades during the season; does this feel are for you like the Indians are now vindicated or belong in this group?

C.C. SABATHIA: I don't think so yet. I think we have to win the series to prove to people. I think we felt like we had nothing to lose. We were definitely the underdogs out of the four teams in the playoffs, and I felt like we had nothing to lose and I felt like we just had to go out there and play relaxed.

End of FastScripts....

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