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October 25, 1999

Andy Pettitte

NEW YORK CITY: Workout Day

Q. After watching El Duque and Cone pitch the last couple of days, is it almost like you have a tough act to follow?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, that's going to -- that will be tough to beat, especially for me. I don't think I went more than five innings in my career without giving up more than one hit. I don't think -- yeah, that's not too much of a concern when I'm trying to follow those two acts.

Q. As a fellow lefty, is Glavine one of those guys you've kind of taken note of over those years and admired, just the way he competes?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, definitely. You know, him being in the other league, obviously, I don't get to watch him as much. When I came up, obviously Jimmy Key was because he was in this organization, the kind of lefty I wanted to be like. Tom's exactly in that same mode. But, you know, he's been a great pitcher for a long time.

Q. Is this one of the best runs of starting pitching that you've been involved in, what your staff has done in the post-season?

ANDY PETTITTE: I think so. Last year was pretty good also, you know, I had the terrible outing against Cleveland. I'm trying to remember. Other than that, we had a pretty good run also with the World Series and the games against Texas and, you know, the Cleveland series.

Q. Coming into the post-season, it was the Yankees pitching that was supposed to be the vulnerable spot. Everyone picked up at one time. What was it due to? Anything special?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I don't know. Coming in, you know, I know the starters when we were talking with one another that we knew if we were going to win this thing, it would be our pitching. That's what I've said the whole time and in the past it's been our pitching that's, you know, helped us to get our wins. So I think that we've got some guys that have been there, and, you know, we're able to, I guess focus a little bit more maybe whenever we get in tough situations like the post-season or whatever. It's really hard to explain. That's all I can think of, just kind of turn it up a notch.

Q. I know you've talked about this before, but you and Chuck Finley both pitched after those trade deadlines passed. Can you explain the tension and the relief, what that was like?

ANDY PETTITTE: Again, probably thousandth time I answered it, but there was really no tension or stress on me, I didn't put any pressure on me during that time. I knew that it was out of my control and, you know, if the organization wanted to get rid of me, you know, I was going through a struggle and, you know, there was nothing else I could do. I couldn't work any harder, I knew it was out of my hands so I really didn't worry about it that much. Me and Mel just continued to work hard. It just seemed like it worked out where all of a sudden everything, you know, got better right whenever the trade deadline was over. But actually a week and a half or so before the trade deadline, I started ironing some stuff out in the bullpen, we felt like I was turning the corner a little bit.

Q. You are one who's kind of been part of a really successful run of the Yankees. How do you learn not to take it for granted and not to expect going to the World Series is sort of a given?

ANDY PETTITTE: I tell you, it's getting tough. It really is. You know, we just assume now that, you know, we're going to play till the end of October, when the season starts. And, you know, I know in '97 for me I had a real bitter taste in my mouth, getting knocked out in the first round. I lost two games in the post-season there to Cleveland. You always remember that stuff and games like that. But, you know, what we've been able to do here over the last five years and four years, especially, has just been really amazing. And, you know, I realize -- and I'll never forget just when Donnie was here, whenever we went to the playoffs in '95. How excited he was, he was here his whole career and never made it. That's something that sticks in the back of my head a little bit. He told me just, whenever we made it, kind of like yelling at you, kind of how spoiled we were just getting to go our rookie year. That's something I'll always remember.

Q. What have you picked up from watching the approach of El Duque and David? How much credit goes to your scouting reports?

ANDY PETTITTE: I was joking around with somebody earlier. You know, watching them pitch, you know, I think if I can come up with a nasty right-handed slider, I have a pretty good chance tomorrow night. I was joking around with somebody. But it's not really anything I can pick up from them. They're so different and their stuff is so different than what I'm trying to do with it and stuff like that. They've got great stuff, both of them. They're getting ahead of hitters and had command of all their pitches. When they both have command of all their pitches, they're going to dominate. They both got dominating stuff, and, you know, it was incredible to watch what they've done the last two nights.

Q. Where would you rate among your post-season outings Game 5 in Boston and will the eight days off make you too strong? Are you afraid of that?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, I felt, you know, real good about Game 5 in Boston, I don't know if it's right there with, you know, Game 5 in '96 against Atlanta, but I would say it was pretty close playing there and coming off the defeat that we did the night before. Felt like they were getting a little bit of a momentum going, just being able to go into their stadium and pitch a good game was really big for us. You know, the fans were pretty rowdy, and, you know, felt like they were having a lot of minutes. So that was a big game. What was the other question?

Q. Are you going to be too strong after eight days?

ANDY PETTITTE: I'm always concerned about that. I'm not a guy that likes to go on a lot of rest, especially pitching here in Yankee Stadium. The crowd gets so into it. Sometimes the juices get flowing a little bit too much. That's one thing I can't let happen because my ball gets up in the zone a little bit when I try to overthrow. Just try to stay relaxed, get the focus where it needs to be. Main thing with me is just staying relaxed out there even when the crowd gets excited and just trying not to overthrow stuff.

End of FastScripts…

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