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October 10, 2009

Carl Pavano


Q. Questions for Carl Pavano. Hey, Carl, I know you faced the Yankees this year already, but is this going to be a little surreal after you went through with them to be facing them in a playoff game?
CARL PAVANO: Luckily, it's my second team this year, so I have been able to put a lot of that behind me, but this is the postseason. Whoever, you are playing, it's always special. Not many teams get to experience this, and we are one of them this year.
My job tomorrow is to obviously go out there and put us in a position to win. We fell short the last two games, and we are playing good baseball, so tomorrow -- there is no doubt about it -- is a must win for our team.

Q. Do you feel that the mood of the team is deflated after losing in New York twice? What's the mood?
CARL PAVANO: No, not at all. Our backs have been against the wall for three weeks, and like I said earlier, we are playing good baseball. I mean, Joe Nathan led the league in saves this year. I mean, he is as sure a shot as they come, and he had a bad day, but he is ready is to step up again, and we are here for the end, both games.
Even the first game, we were definitely a little flat the first game. We had a long night the night before, and I am not making excuses, but we are batting. This time of year is tough, you got to hold leads. That's what it comes down to.
And our starting pitching needs to go as deep as possible, but I like the mood of our team, everyone seemed really loose in the clubhouse, I don't know if you were in there, but everyone was in good spirits. We got in at 3:00 in the morning. Everyone feels good, going to recharge on this day off and get ready to go tomorrow.

Q. You said you have put behind you what happened in New York. How do you reflect back on your four years in New York?
CARL PAVANO: I mean, it's tough. I mean, you know, it's definitely a black period in my career, four years where I was kind of just treading water for awhile there, but obviously, with the way this year has gone, I have been able to go out there, and sustained health, go out there and be successful and get through the year and how everything has come full circle.
I am getting a start in the playoffs, I can't ask for much more than that. When I look back on it, obviously things could have been a lot different, but it didn't work out that way, but I feel like I am getting back to where I was before all those problems.
So there is definitely some satisfaction in that, but I have a long way to go, but let's start tomorrow, start fresh.

Q. Carl, you did pitch well against the Yankees this year. They have obviously one of the top lineups in the game. How do you approach that lineup, and is there anything you did specifically that helped you succeed this year against them?
CARL PAVANO: Yeah, looking back on those starts, yeah, they are a tough lineup, 1 through 9, there is no doubt about it, but as far as how I go about it, I am aggressive, I am going to make pitches. There is obviously locations where I want to keep on different hitters to stay away from their strengths, but there is also some strengths that I have, so for me, there is no doubt about it, going out there, being aggressive, letting them put the ball in play, and we have a great defense behind me, so you got to stay away from the big innings, and I think we have done that, for the most part.
This series, except for a couple innings got away from us, but anytime this team catches momentum, you guys saw it last night, they start feeding off each other, so you got to kind of break that up.
I look back on the two starts I had this year as having success against them, but this is a whole new start, this is the postseason, and, you know, obviously, it's time. Like I said earlier, this is a must win for us tomorrow.

Q. Carl, you have talked about the fun you have had around the Twins down the stretch. I noticed above your locker you have got the name plate with all the autographs from around the clubhouse. Any special meaning behind that? And just how does this season compare to anything you have had in the past in terms of fun?
CARL PAVANO: I mean, we have -- our team has an unbelievable connection together. I mean, you see it every day in the clubhouse. We have great camaraderie. We are definitely winning and losing as one, and that's part of being a team, and I just think, you know, it built a lot of chemistry going down the stretch, how we all stuck together and had our backs against the wall, putting our egos aside and playing good baseball and playing together as a team.
So every year gives a different experience, but this is my -- going back, 11th, 12th year, it's definitely special to be where we are at right now, obviously not in the position we are at, down two games, but this is a special team. Every year has its challenges, every year has its -- brings its time where there is joy in it, and this is definitely a joyful time of the year for us right now.

Q. Carl, do you like pitching indoors, particularly in the Metrodome? Is there any adjustments to that?
CARL PAVANO: I came up with the Expos, so I was pitching in a dome then, so it never really crossed my mind one way or another because I have already been conditioned to deal with it, so inside or outside, it really comes down to executed pitches.
I don't think the indoor affects my stuff any more than an outside stadium. So it's really not even a thought that crosses my mind. My major goal is to go out there, execute pitches, get quick outs and get my players back in the dugout. So whether it's here, there, inside, outside, it doesn't matter.

Q. Carl, is there anything positive you look back on those four years? Do you still have relationships with some of those teammates?
CARL PAVANO: Yeah, there is definitely guys over there that I am fond of that I enjoyed playing with, but that was a frustrating time. There were a lot of good times, but there were a lot of frustrating times that always stand out a lot more, but I am thankful I got another opportunity after that to get back to where I was before all the frustrating times.

Q. Carl, when you faced the Yankees earlier this year Alex was still out. When he is in the lineup and hitting the way he has been, how much different does that lineup look? And you were around in the days for a lot of the struggles that he had in the postseason and saw the heat that he took in New York. What do you think it means for him to be catching fire this time of year?
CARL PAVANO: Alex is a force. He can put a team on his shoulders by himself. I have seen that at the time I was there. But he put those behind him, but he definitely changes the whole dynamic of that lineup.
Those guys -- a lot of those guys get on base, and he is a run producer, so you got to keep him -- you can't let him hurt you, but there is also other guys in the lineup that can hurt you, too, so sometimes it's pick your poison with those three, four, five, even six guys, so you just got to make your pitches. These guys are going to make the plays behind me. Obviously, being aggressive is going to be important.

Q. Carl, thanks for coming.

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