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October 10, 2009

Andy Pettitte


Q. Andy, what's your fondest memories of this place? Your team has won some big games here, and you have been a member of the team while it's happened.
ANDY PETTITTE: Oh, man, I mean, I am not going to lie to you, I can't even remember all of our games here, the playoff games, and stuff like that, right offhand, so, I mean, I know we have had to come through here a couple times, I know I have had to pitch, you know, some big games against these guys at Yankee Stadium, you know, I remember some of those, but it's always a tough place to come and play. It's loud.
These guys, you know, use home field advantage extremely well, and they always play us tough here, so we know it's going to be a tough series and, hopefully, we can take care of our business and be able to get a win and be able to move on.

Q. Andy, I know you always preach the one start at a time mentality, but is it difficult for you when you are not able to close out a series?
ANDY PETTITTE: I realize, obviously, you realize the importance of trying to go ahead and close it out because you don't want to give them any momentum at all, so -- but as far as my approach, it will be the same, just try to go out there, try to get in a good rhythm, try to get myself going and try to give us a solid start and give us a chance to win the ball game, and, really, that's the approach that I will just always take and, hopefully, that will be good enough to get us a win tomorrow night.

Q. Andy, you have been part of some Yankee teams that have won some very dramatic games at the end, but this is the first time you are part of this team, this core, that's doing the same thing. What do you think a win like last night will do for this team's confidence and its pedigree?
ANDY PETTITTE: It's big. Since it's the postseason, it definitely makes it even more sweeter. We have been doing it all year. We are playing with so much confidence right now, especially at home. We have been playing with so much confidence, but there was always, okay, you have done it all year, let's see you do it in the postseason.
So to be able to do it last night and to see the guys battle the way they did, it was a tough game, we were very fortunate, we got out of some huge situations that you would think that you are going to give up at least a run and we pulled off some miracles there, but that was a special win.
We had some things go our way, and you got to have that happen and you got to have some breaks go your way, and fortunately, they went our way, and it was nice to win that game, that's for sure.

Q. Andy, after watching the last two games, people keep talking about the Twins as scrappy. What stood out to you about their lineup?
ANDY PETTITTE: Really, that's it. I know their manager, Gardenhire, said, "I got a bunch of ball players, and really, when you look at their lineup, obviously, they have got some guys that have some pop, and Mauer, as far as the year that he has had and the kind of hitter he is, but they just got a lot of guys that do a lot of things right and they are scrappy, and so you still have to make quality pitches, you know, and if you don't, you are probably going to give up some runs.
They keep coming at you, they don't give up, and they usually make the plays, and those are teams that are tough to beat. They play good, fundamental baseball, and they do a good job of doing that.

Q. Andy, you were with Pavano his last couple years with the Yankees. Just wondering what your sense of what's going to happen with him tomorrow.
ANDY PETTITTE: Really, when I got there, it wasn't, I don't think, that bad of a situation, not that I know of. I know that -- and the years have kind of run together now. I don't know exactly, but I believe that he was there -- I was there his last year, and so he, you know, was three years there, and a lot of stuff, obviously, had gone on and went on.
But me and Carl had a great relationship. I came in -- you guys know how I am, I came in, you know, knowing he was going to be in the rotation, was hoping that he would be healthy and be one of the horses that would go with me and the other guys that we had and, hopefully, make a playoff run and stuff like that.
Obviously, I believe he had to have Tommy John surgery and, basically, missed the whole year there my first year back, but I have got a great relationship with Carl. I hated that things worked out the way that they had in New York before I got there.
But I am just happy for him, happy for him that he is here now and things are a little bit different. He is healthy, he stayed healthy this year, and happy to see that he has put together a good year and, hopefully, he will continue to pitch well in his career.

Q. It's so unusual for a player, when he is hurt, to be questioned. What was it about Carl that people or players seemed to question whether or not he should be pitching when he wasn't pitching?
ANDY PETTITTE: Again, for me it's hard to even talk about that because I wasn't there. When I was there, I think -- and y'all may need to correct me if I am wrong, but I think he needed to have Tommy John surgery, so he had Tommy John surgery last year.
I mean, everybody is different. I mean, everyone is different, and believe me, I know how it is not fun to pitch with elbow problems. I pitched with elbow problems for a long, long, long time here my first stint, but everybody is different the way that they handle situations, and Carl felt like that he would be better off and it would be better for him and his future, and his career, I know, to go ahead and shut it down and have that Tommy John surgery.
So that's not for me to question whether he can or can't do it, and like I said, I know there is a lot of stuff the prior years that I was gone, but I am not familiar with that stuff at all.

Q. Andy, one more on this topic a little bit. It's not unusual to face former teammates because guys move around a lot, but is it unusual, do you think, in this circumstance for just a guy who carried so much baggage during his time in New York, and there are still people in that clubhouse who went through all that?
ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I guess it is, for sure, but that's what's so great about baseball, I guess it's a great story for everybody. So yeah, I mean, I guess in that sense it's a little unusual, but like you said, I mean, guys move around so much, you are pitching against guys you played with one year and the next year they are with another club and stuff like that, so in that sense it's not that strange, I guess.

Q. Andy, what do you think it's like for an opposing pitcher to have to work through your lineup?
ANDY PETTITTE: It's tough, it has to be. Obviously, I know how it is because some of the lineups that we have to face in the American League and the hitters that some of the teams have.
It's just tough because we don't swing at a whole lot of bad pitches, we got great eyes, the guys are very disciplined, they don't chase balls out of the strike zone, and when you have guys that aren't doing that, it makes it extremely difficult.
And then you got guys hitting for average, also, and running a little bit, so it's a tough lineup to go through, and then, obviously, you know, when Al has swung the bat like he has the last couple games, with all the other guys, it's a tough lineup to go through, for sure.
They have pitched well early in the games and kind of seems like took us a few innings each game to kind of get going a little bit and stuff, and yesterday we were pretty much shut down until the ninth inning of that game, so you just don't ever know, you don't ever know what's going to happen.
That's what's so great about this time of year, so great about baseball, you got to go out and play the games, and, hopefully, we are going to be on the winning end of the series.

Q. Okay, Andy, thank you very much.

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