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October 6, 2009

C.C. Sabathia


THE MODERATOR: We'll take some questions for CC Sabathia.

Q. Sabathia, how much more rested are you this year going into the post-season than you were last year.
CC SABATHIA: I mean, it's a good thing. I'm definitely, you know, pitching on more days rest. The last couple of times I had a week in between starts. It definitely helps just to get that mental break of being able to come to the field and relax for a couple of days.

Q. I think you said earlier in the week about your last few playoff starts you just said you simply didn't pitch well. When you think back on it, is there anything you thought of -- you've obviously had a good career so far but those post-season games don't match up -- is there anything you can think of that stuck out to you about those games?
CC SABATHIA: I think maybe just trying to go out and do too much. Trying to go out and throw shutouts and throw no-hitters and things like that instead of going out and doing the same things I've done during the regular season which is throwing strikes early in the count.
I mean throwing strikes early in the game and pounding the strike zone both sides of the plate and going out and putting up zeros and letting the team score runs.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about your relationship with Jorge behind the plate and how much confidence is involved now in his calling the plays and whether it took a while for him to learn what you like to do?
CC SABATHIA: We've been working together all year since spring training. You know, it took a little bit. But you know, he knows what I like to do with certain counts, you know, with certain hitters. And we have the meetings before the game and we're always talking on the bench.
Our relationship is really good. I think our relationship is good off the field which definitely helps, to communicate while you're on the field or on the bench and things like that.

Q. CC, you talked about you tried to do too much with those other starts with respect to the Cleveland and Milwaukee teams. How much different is it pitching with this lineup behind you? You said you know if you throw a decent game they're going to score some runs. Does that help you knowing you have that lineup with you?
CC SABATHIA: No doubt. Anytime you look up there and you have Jeter and Damon and Tex and A-Rod the first four hitters, and they're on your side, you feel pretty good. And that's kind of the attitude I've taken all year where I'm not going to try and go out and do too much. I'm going to go out and try to put up zeros and let these guys get them back in the dugout as quickly as possible, any time we can score six or seven runs in an inning.

Q. CC, tonight and then going into tomorrow, what do you think your anticipation, how will you be heading into the start compared to others this year?
CC SABATHIA: I'm excited. I'm definitely excited. But like I said this earlier, the Opening Day with the new Yankee Stadium and me being the free agent and the games against Boston, there and in here, I think all of those moments have helped me to prepare and led me up to this moment for this playoff game.
You know, some of those games we played against Boston are like playoff games. That Opening Day probably felt like tomorrow night will. So I've had these experiences over the year. And I think I'm ready for it.

Q. Does not knowing your opponent until 8 o'clock tonight, does that impact your preparation at all?
CC SABATHIA: I don't think so. I pitched against both these teams a lot being in the Central for about 7-1/2 years, seeing a lot of these guys. So I'll watch the game tonight and come in and be ready to get with Posada and Charlie and Dave and put together a game plan for tomorrow night.

Q. How difficult was the off-season for you last year after struggling in the post-season? Do they motivate you?
CC SABATHIA: Yes, they motivate me. I mean, definitely. You know, we had such a good year in Milwaukee last year. Nobody really gave us a chance to get in. Us playing basically playoff games for the last ten days, I think it took a toll on us. We kind of ran out of gas during the playoffs. But, you know, anytime with baseball you think about it but you have to let it go. This game is -- you know you're going to fail. I think those experiences that I've had the last couple of years in the playoffs will make me a lot better.

Q. CC, I don't know how religiously you stick to a pre-game routine. An hour earlier start tomorrow, change up, what do you do during the day leading up to coming here and getting ready for the game? What do you expect your day will be like before you get here tomorrow?
CC SABATHIA: I sleep pretty much all the day I pitch. I just get one less hour of sleep. So it will be fine.

Q. When you signed, you talked -- you and your agent talked about the goal here was to get a championship. You've played the whole season. Do you sort of feel like tomorrow is really the start of the season for you guys, given what you came here to do and you finally get to come out here and start the road to the 11 wins.
CC SABATHIA: Yes, this is what you come here for. To get that opportunity to get to win a championship. And just feels good to be able to be in this position. Starting tomorrow. Going out and trying to put that together. We had a great year so far. We just have to keep it going. Keep it going -- but when you sign here, and definitely when I signed here in December, that's what you think about. Being able to be in the post-season and have a chance to win a championship.

Q. Your buddy Jimmy Rollins predicted Philly over the Yankees in the World Series.
CC SABATHIA: No predictions.

Q. Any response to him?
CC SABATHIA: They're the champs. We will definitely have to go through them. So we'll see.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for coming in. We'll wait for Joe Girardi.

End of FastScripts

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