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October 4, 2000

Andy Pettitte


Q. You had lunch today with Dr. Fran. I was just wondering if you guys go over any kind of game plan? Whenever you seem to meet with him --

ANDY PETTITTE: Actually we just had lunch today. We didn't even really talk about the game at all. The only thing we did before the game is we just had a little prayer together right before we took the mound. That was basically the extent of it.

Q. You've had very good starts against this team, even before tonight. In New York this year you shut these guys do you know pretty well, what is the secret?

ANDY PETTITTE: Obviously, they are a great-hitting ballclub. I really feel like you've got to get ahead of them and get strike one. I was able to locate my fastball today well and that is always a big key for me especially against left-handed hitters. I was able to get my two-seamer in on them and whenever I'm able to do that I feel like my cutter and my four-seamer away, I just feel like it's just that much more effective. That's the key, really.

Q. Does it change your mental preparation when you go in on the road like this and face a hot team in last year the Red Sox had a lot of momentum going against you, this year it is the A's, after last night?

ANDY PETTITTE: This was a huge game for us. We've been scuffling to bad, and I've been feeling real strong. I just wanted to try to locate my two-seamer away to righties and in to lefties, and the only way I do that without getting the ball up is just relax. And I was able to relax. Their crowd was really into it and they had -- there was a lot of people here to night. They were making a lot of noise. But I really feel like that even on the road I am able to zero in a lot more and get look locked in a little bit better. Sometimes at home I get so pumped with our own fans and stuff like that. Like I said before, sometimes it works against me.

Q. Joe had mentioned on the mound that you talk to yourself sometimes. What do you say?

ANDY PETTITTE: You know, there's so much stuff that's said out there. I don't know. Half the time it's just little keys to -- if I start overthrowing, stay back and stuff like that. That's just something that, you know, I've always done out there.

Q. You just reiterated what a huge game it was. Is it possible to just put that out of your mind can and concentrate on your pitches or are you aware?

ANDY PETTITTE: Obviously, coming in, you know how big it is. But again, it's just a matter of trying to get out there and get locked in. And I was able to do that tonight. You know, my focus was really good. And really, I was able to make all of my pitches and put them right where I wanted to for the most part. Jorge called a great game and left a couple of balls up that they almost hit out. But for the most part, I really made a lot of good pitches tonight.

Q. Do you get more locked in for a playoff game?

ANDY PETTITTE: I definitely think so. I mean, you hate to do that, but, you know, just the way I struggled last year toward the end of the year and just was able to pitch some big games in the playoffs last year. It's a different ballgame once you get to the playoffs. It's a different atmosphere. And I think it's -- you know, obviously I feel like I get a little more locked in in playoff games.

Q. Where does that focus come from? Is it something that you had to learn along the way?

ANDY PETTITTE: Again, it's just ever since I've come up, you know, I just -- you try to see the pitches. You try to see them before you make the pitch and stuff like that. You know, if you do it enough in your mind and see it enough happening in your mind, I think you're able to execute it if you're able to get out there and relax. It's just something that I've tried to do throughout my career ever since I've been up here.

Q. Did somebody teach you that?

ANDY PETTITTE: No. Just all through the minors, that's always been a strong point of mine. In tough situations, I'm a guy that gives up a lot of hits usually and stuff, and I've usually got to make a lot of big pitches. That's just been a strong point of mine ever since I've been pitching, I believe.

Q. When Luis went down, we saw your expression. What were you thinking at the time and what did you say to Luis afterwards?

ANDY PETTITTE: Really, I know Mo (Rivera) was going to probably be coming in after that. I just didn't want to come out. I was saying, this isn't going to happen. We fought too hard to get this game and it just seemed like everything that could go wrong against us could go wrong. It was almost like we had to will a win out of it tonight. It was a tough win for us tonight. It was a big one for us to get.

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