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October 7, 1999

Andy Pettitte


Q. Can you take us to the fifth inning, runners on second and third, facing McLemore, Greer and Clayton?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, you know, I made a bad pitch to get in that situation to Stevens, and, you know, I was a little frustrated. At that point I was, you know, just wanting to concede a run and trying to get an out there. I went 3-0 on McLemore, able to come off, got him to foul off a couple pitches. I was able to make a big pitch on him, get a strike out. Then I'm still trying to get a ground ball. Clayton hit the ground ball and got out of the inning.

Q. Andy, you seem to be more emotional than -- you're usually more reserved. You seem to be more emotional, more pumped up. Why today?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I was. I don't know, a lot of guys are trying to figure that out, too, in the locker room now. I'm not real emotional. But, you know, it was a big game, you know. I had another tough year. Mentally, you know, a lot of people doubting me and sometimes you start doubting yourself, I guess. And I don't know if that had anything to do with it; I'm really not sure. But just to get out of that fifth inning, that was a pretty emotional inning to get out of.

Q. When was the last time you pumped your fist during a game?

ANDY PETTITTE: I really can't remember. I know I gave a good pump in '96 when I did a double play to get out of that inning in the World Series.

Q. Why did you throw the glove down into the dugout? Were you mad or happy?

ANDY PETTITTE: I don't remember. I don't remember throwing my glove. Maybe, you know, I came in and I think one time I hit the chair when I got out of that inning. I hit the seat, just because I had made a bad pitch to Stevens, you know, I had two strikes on him, left the cutter in the middle of the plate and he hit a double. I wasn't bearing down like I needed to. I felt like in some situations, nobody was on base or whenever it was runner on first, I was being a little bit careless.

Q. Andy, what was it like for you during the middle of the summer, the trade deadline, when so many rumors were going on about you leaving here and then Joe basically stood up for you and you stayed?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, again, like I've been saying all year, it seems like every year that, you know, I start struggling, they talk about they're going to get rid of me. And for some reason, they don't or somebody stands up and like Joe did, I guess, and says he doesn't want me to go anywhere. You know, that's just part of it. It's part of being here in New York. It's going to happen. I really -- it seems like I really got used to it a little bit, except this year I thought it really might happen. And in the past, it was more like, you know, I was thinking it was just rumors. So it's just something you have to deal with. Something you have to block out. All I'm worried about doing is trying to figure out how to help this team win and trying to figure out how I can get guys out.

Q. How much did it have to do with the self-doubt you were just talking about? You said people were doubting you. It contributes to start doubting yourself. You went through the syndrome this year. How much did the trade rumors have to do with that?

ANDY PETTITTE: I don't think that it had anything to do with trade rumors, it had to do with me going out there struggling. As a pitcher, when you're getting knocked around, the ball's not going where you want it to, guys start hitting balls, you start doubting. When it happens over a long period of time -- I had a stretch there for a couple months where I really struggled.

Q. Talk about your big-game abilities. There's so much made of Maddux being 9-9 in the playoffs, Clemens -- you seem to rise to the occasion. Is there anything specific you concentrate on?

ANDY PETTITTE: I don't know. I just feel like, you know, I'm able to get focused. I was able to get locked in tonight and stuff. But, again, I mean I always look -- I try to stay, I guess, somewhat humble about that. I had a terrible start in Game 1 of the World Series in '96, you know, and to me I would think that was a big game and I didn't have a good start last year against Cleveland in the playoffs. All the playoff games are big games. Sometimes you're going to get beat. Sometimes you're going to do well. We played a great game tonight. Little things people don't see, tonight Bernie cut a ball off Ivan's hit, I was able to get Juan to hit into a double play. It's a different situation if he's on second base right there. I'm a lot more careful with Juan. It's a totally different situation. Plays and things that go on during the game dictate how you're going to pitch.

Q. Can you talk about the second inning after you gave up the two hits, struck out Kelly and got the double play. Did it give you confidence as the game went on?

ANDY PETTITTE: Well, I wanted to go in to the game throwing strikes. It felt like Tampa Bay was real patient with me. I was kind of picking a little bit. I wanted to go in and start throwing a lot of strikes. That inning they got a couple hits off me to start the inning off. The first thing, I had a good sinker, I lost my sinker there for a couple of hitters to Zeile and the other guy. I got a couple hits. Definitely when you get a double play, that boosts you a little bit and helps you out a lot.

Q. Top of the fifth could have been disastrous. What was your emotion to get out of it? When you walked off the mound, what were you feeling?

ANDY PETTITTE: I was ecstatic. You know, like I was saying earlier, you look to concede a run right there, to try to keep away from the big inning, try to get a ground ball, they score, whatever, get a fly ball, they score a run, you get it to them. Whenever you're able to get to two outs and you feel like you can get out of the inning, it's just great, you know. Helling was pitching a great game. I didn't know if we'd get to him. And, you know, I didn't think he'd give up many runs. He was just painting the outside corner on the left-hand hitters. You have to give him a lot of credit, too.

Q. What were the strikeout pitches to McLemore and Greer?

ANDY PETTITTE: A back door cutter to McLemore on 3-2, I think, and on Rusty, when I got 3-2 on him, I threw a cutter also I think.

Q. Can you talk about Tino Martinez? He had an error early in the game, he went 2 for 4, set the table up and scored two of the Yankees' three runs.

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I mean Tino's been great. Tino defensively has been great all year. I think he ought to win a Gold Glove over there for some of the plays he's made this year. He was swinging the bat well. He finished up strong in Tampa. It seemed like he was swinging the bat. It's nice to see him be able to carry it over into the playoffs right now.

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