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October 20, 2001

Roger Clemens


Q. As these playoffs go on, and we know you're hurting, is it getting progressively worse or are you feeling progressively better? How can you describe?

ROGER CLEMENS: At the time, my leg is feeling better. Some of the swelling is going down behind my knee. I guess we are just trying to move some of the fluid around. But, you know, you're never going to feel just terrific, so you're going to -- your adrenaline and the excitement of being here is going to take over, so I don't expect it to be a problem.

Q. Could you just briefly trace the evolution of your current repetoire from when you started and maybe even the middle part of your career and how your repetoire has evolved?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, when I first got in the League a long time ago, all I had was basically a fastball, curveball with a decent change. You know, late '80s, learned the split. Heard guys -- heard Roger Craig talking to Mike Scott about it and had a golf tournament at home with Scotty so I started to look at the split a little more so I could be more aggressive with a pitch. Bill Fisher taught me the slider. I had more of a slurve, so that came into play, also. Still have a pretty good changeup but don't want to get beat with it. Certain points during the game I'll feature it. I go back and forth, Mel and I kid each other about it, my changeup is good, he sees it, even though I don't use it that much, but I call it my presidential pitch; when I need four more years, I'll break it out. (Laughter.) Right now, just, you know, I was telling the other guys the other night, even though I was going to be limited in what I could do with my leg, you know, I promised Joe and Mel that I would go all-out and that will make my fastball from the get-go and try to keep it in the upper 90s, so the split would be effective at 88 to 91, and it's effective in that area, as long as my velocity is up. Again, just kidding the guys, hanging around me and the different things I say, is, Mr. Split, he's going to have to show up sooner or later. Just have to be aggressive with it. But right now, I hear comments here and there and it's fairly amusing for people that are not in the know, but I really don't have an idea when I'm going in or out on pitches right now. So it's just the fact that I'm limited. My velocity is not going to be a problem, knock on wood. The movement has been great. My location has suffered because of it. You know what; that's not a problem sometimes for me. Sometimes I'm too much around the plate. So I'll go with it as long and hard as I can go, and hopefully, that will be good enough.

Q. I think it's kind of what you were just alluding to, has the injury kept you from being able to throw anything at all or is it just like you said, where it's located?

ROGER CLEMENS: I won't allow that. If it's a case where it's going to not allow me to do something, not only am I hurting the team, but I will be hurting myself in that aspect, so we are not going to do that. Again, I expect whatever part of my game I need to call on to elevate and no matter what the situation is, the outcome today, I'll do it. It's that time of year where you can't -- you know, like I said, we talked to some of the other guys, you cannot afford to have a tired arm. You cannot afford to be beat up. We have everyday guys that are in the same situation. I'm sure Seattle did -- I know Seattle does because we watch Edgar runs bases and he is out there busting his tail so they definitely have guys, too. It's that time of the year where everything is on the line; you've got to be out there.

Q. Jim Palmer used to say that when he had a good fastball he would throw it down the middle and know it would not end up there; are you saying that that's where you are right now?

ROGER CLEMENS: Pretty much. I'm not trying to throw too many sinker cut balls but your concentration has to elevate when you are in that mode and your game plan has to stay consistent and that's what you have to do. I mean, it's not unlike any other time. I pitched long enough to know that there's going to be things that are bothering you here or there, but once you get on to the mound, those are put to the side.

Q. How much do you think the extra day will help you this time and are you disappointed that you are only going to pitch once in this series as a result of that?

ROGER CLEMENS: I don't really look at being disappointed about it. I think that the guys will be able to play maybe a different position because I'm going to be a little able to move around. Fortunately I've been able to react to some balls up the middle, and for the most part, every one of my infielders keep coming up to me and telling me to stay in the dirt. I don't know if that's good or bad -- stay in the dirt area. But it's going to allow me to move. It was worse than we expected because the fluid is in there. But it's given me some time to get that out. I've been able to jog and do some things that I normally do. So it's very encouraging.

End of FastScripts....

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