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October 16, 1999

Andy Pettitte


Q. Could you recount what this whole year has been like for you, uncertainty about trade situation to winning such a big game?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, obviously going through that time where I was struggling pitching and stuff like that, it is a hard time. But over the last couple of years I have kind of been in that same situation where they seemed like they talked about trading me every year, so the only thing was this year it was intensified a little bit more and I really did feel like that I might be gone. And wherein year's past I felt like it was rumors. It is tough, but I felt that I was able to block that out and continue to try to work on my pitching, try to figure out what I was doing wrong. And me and Mel continued to work hard and it was very gratifying to turn the year around and to be able to have a strong second half. Obviously to throw a good game in the Division Series.

Q. Above and beyond the normal importance of today's game, are you anxious to watch it as a fan -- that matchup?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, definitely. Obviously it is no secret growing up that Roger was from the same area as me and I just enjoyed watching him pitch whenever I was still in high school and stuff like that. Obviously now Pedro is one of the premier pitchers in the League and he is fun to watch. It is going to be enjoyable sitting there watching it and it will be more enjoyable if we end up winning, that is for sure.

Q. Overall, what kind of challenge does this Red Sox team present to you and how have you done in this ballpark career-wise?

ANDY PETTITTE: About how have I done, I really can't tell you. I really don't remember. I don't think I have pitched here in a couple of years. I am not real sure. I don't know how I have pitched here in the past. I know I have won a couple of games here, but I can't recall certain events or certain games and how I had done. But they present a lot of problems. They have got a good lineup. They don't have quite the power of a Cleveland or something like that or a Texas whenever you are going to face them, but they can hurt you in so many different ways; guys that can steal bases on you. They don't try and do too much, I don't think. They do situational things and you know, that is the sign of a solid team when they do things like that and they do a lot of things right.

Q. Depending obviously on what happens today, you might have a chance to be on the mound pitching the clinching game; what would that mean to you?

ANDY PETTITTE: That is great. It would mean a lot. I know in 1996 I pitched a clinching game against Baltimore to go to the World Series. That is very special just to -- whenever you start the season you want to get to the World Series. That is our goal. And just to be the pitcher on the mound to have that clinching game, that would be great. It was great to close it out last year in San Diego. It was almost like we finished the project I guess that we had begun last year. So with this pitching staff you don't ever know where you are going to be and we have got four great starters and I am just honored to be pitching on the staff with the guys we have.

Q. Any reservations as a lefthander pitching in Fenway with the Green Monster, et cetera?

ANDY PETTITTE: Not really. I mean, I think that it can help you and it can hurt you a little bit. You can probably give up some hard-hit balls that would get out of some stadiums and the line drive shots that won't get out of here, whatever. But I am going to pitch the same way that I have been pitching. It is no secret that I have been throwing a lot of balls away, then I will try to get you looking away and try to bust you in stuff like that. So no reservation I am going to pitch the same game that I would pitch at Yankee Stadium. I really feel that way.

Q. What does it mean to you guys and what is the sense of confidence having Rivera as a closer?

ANDY PETTITTE: It is great. I mean, he has been so automatic; especially over the last couple of months. He has got great stuff and you know if you get to the 7th inning with the starter, with a lead, with the bullpen we have and the way Nellie and Mike can set up, Mo, and Mendoza, that the game is almost over, you think. So hopefully we can continue to be solid out there and he will continue to be solid. I don't want to jinx him or anything but he has been special, he has been great for us.

End of FastScripts…

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