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October 7, 2009

C.C. Sabathia


Twins – 2
Yankees - 7

THE MODERATOR: First question for CC.

Q. Joe has talked about how he didn't maybe have to push you quite as hard in September like last year. How much do you think that's going to benefit you this month in terms of just feeling stronger and having better command? Did you see it tonight maybe feeling a little bit better?
CC SABATHIA: I felt good tonight. You know, it definitely helps not having to pitch as much as I did last September. But you know, having a week off in between starts and six days and five days. So I've been feeling pretty fresh. I felt pretty good tonight.

Q. CC, you heard about Derek Jeter in October. Tonight you saw it. Do you feel the game changed when he had that home run?
CC SABATHIA: Definitely. The place got loud. Him starting out the game with a single and then tieing the score up right back. It just made me want to go out there and get three quick outs and try to get these guys back in the dugout and score some more runs.

Q. This is obviously what they brought you here to do. Do you feel really good on the big stage to get a win like this tonight in the first game at the new Yankee Stadium in the playoffs?
CC SABATHIA: Yes. The first game of the series, first game of the playoffs. Just wanted to come out and do as well as I can.
You know, was able to hold them down. Got a little sketchy there I guess in the third. But I was able to come back and put up zeros like I have all year. And these guys have been scoring runs all year. That's what I talked about yesterday. Not try to do too much and let these guys take over the game.

Q. You know that the success and failure of this post-season is going to be determined well beyond one game in the division series. Are you all able to maybe relax and sleep a little better tonight just having gotten this one win? This one win here, does to that take some of this off you?
CC SABATHIA: We know what we need to do. We know that these are big games. They are always big games in the playoffs. It just feels good to start it off the right way.

Q. I wonder when you signed did you imagine this day when you would take the ball in Game 1 of a playoff series at Yankee Stadium? And if you did, how much did this match your expectation? And also if you could just tell us what happened with the two passed balls with Posada?
CC SABATHIA: Definitely when I signed, this is what you come here for. To have a chance to win and pitching in the post-season, playing in October. It was electric tonight. It felt good. I had a lot of fun out there.
As far as me and Posada, we got crossed up a couple of times. One time was his fault. One time was mine. It's one of those things that happens during the game.

Q. CC, what was working for you? Can you describe which pitches were working best?
CC SABATHIA: My change-up was really good tonight. The cutter was pretty good with two strikes. The fastball command wasn't all the way there like I have had. Pretty much the second half. But you know, I was able to make some pitches when I needed to and get some outs.

Q. Two questions: One, what did you use to get Mauer in the first inning? How big was that out? And then, also, the kind of pitcher that A.J. is also can strike guys out with dominant stuff. How good does that set you guys up for later in the post-season?
CC SABATHIA: It definitely sets us up well. A.J. is a great pitcher. He has good stuff. And we expect him to come out and pitch the way he can.
You know, to get Mauer out was huge. Anytime that guy is up with runners on base, you know, you want to try to make pitches and keep them in the ballpark.

Q. Matsui is very good. How did you see his batting today?
CC SABATHIA: Matsui seems like every time I go out there, I probably had 30 starts. He's probably hit a home run in 25 of them. He's been great every time I pitch. Hopefully the support will continue. That guy is unbelievable. Lefties, righties, no matter who you put out there, he takes good swings off of them.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks a lot, CC.

End of FastScripts

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