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October 18, 2009

Andy Pettitte


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy Pettitte.

Q. Did you watch those first couple of games? What did CC and A.J. do so well against what's a really good Angels lineup?
ANDY PETTITTE: I think any time when you're watching a game and you see a starting pitcher have success, there are a couple of things that factor in. First of all, they're getting ahead. They're throwing strikes. Getting strike one, and when you're able to get strike one, you're usually able to be successful.
You know, those few times that they did have runners in scoring position or whatever, they were able to make big pitches and get out of innings, and you know limit damage.
So those are the two, you know, the two keys obviously to being, you know, fairly successful.

Q. Did watching CC help you? I know you know those two hitters, but did watching CC helping you tonight in any way?
ANDY PETTITTE: You know, me and C, we are definitely able to talk. I'm definitely able to talk to him. When I see him game planning and what he's trying to do, his second pitch is his changeup, basically. That is pretty much his out pitch and his fastball. Mine's more my cutter and stuff like that.
But it helps, you know, to try to see maybe what kind of approach you're going to take a little bit. If they're trying to go the other way and if he's throwing balls in and stuff like that. But for the most part we still have to have kind of a different game plan.
But what's great is to be able to see how they react to certain pitches, you know, fastballs in. You know, I can see maybe what they're trying to do in those at-bats.
But, you know, I'm different when I go out there. I know guys probably approach me a little bit different, I still have to react during the game to see what kind of swings they're taking against me also.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about where you've been at the last month, month and a half? Other than that last start in Tampa where things didn't go real well, just talk generally about the last six weeks or so of the season for you?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, you I, you know, I was obviously feeling very, very good, and feeling really good the whole second half about the way that I was throwing the ball. Within probably, I guess, the last five weeks I had to miss that start. I got skipped on that one start because of my shoulder. After that I really have felt like I have struggled each start after the start that I skipped.
Against Anaheim -- I can't remember who the other two teams were now, I know one of those starts was against Tampa. But early in the game I wasn't feeling very comfortable mechanically. In Tampa, my last start I felt the exact same way. I felt terrible mechanically. So really against the Twins going into that playoff start I was a little worried about my mechanics. Because I felt like I was in such a good rhythm before I skipped that start that I hadn't ironed my mechanics out really as good as I'd like to have going into the playoffs.
But, mechanically, I felt great in the Minnesota start. So everything looked good. All my pitches were there for me. So I'm hoping I can just carry that right into my next start. I wasn't feeling good the last couple of weeks of the season just because I felt like my shoulder felt good.
But I just felt like we were getting so much rest. I was getting six days between every start, and I had to skip that one start where I had 11 days off. It was almost like I needed to get out there in the pitch more.
The way it's worked out with the playoffs, you know, I had eight days before that start against Minnesota. Now I'm having eight days again this start. So for me it's just hoping that I can get things going early. My mechanics are together, and I'll be able to ride it out throughout the course of the game.

Q. And can it be a concern when you go too many days off between starts for you personally?
ANDY PETTITTE: There's no doubt. Like I said always, always in the past. For me in the postseason I'd just as soon pitch on three days rest than on seven or eight if you're healthy and you're feeling good.
But you know the situation we're in this year we've got the two horses, C and A.J. going in the first two games. And it's been a situation where we've all had a lot of rest going into the second round.
It can be. But I think now the older I'm getting it's a little bit of adjustments that I'll have to make. I've just been doing a lot more work in between. I threw three bullpens since my last start. I'm hoping that's going to keep me feeling really sharp.

Q. You tied John Smoltz for the all time lead in postseason victories last time out. And obviously if you went tomorrow night you'd be the winningest. Can you talk about what that might mean to you and what it's like to be either that tie in postseason wins with those kind of names?
ANDY PETTITTE: It's special, obviously. I'm very thankful. I feel fortunate to have been able to have played as long as I have. And obviously to be able to have played on as many great teams as I've been able to play on, and have the opportunity to do that and play with a great closer here in New York. And, then, obviously, Brad Lidge was a great closer in Houston in my games there.
So it's just I don't even know what to say. I never would have dreamed that I would have been able to have been in this situation and be able to do something like that. It's just an honor.
I feel very fortunate. I feel very blessed. I thank the Lord, you know, for keeping me healthy and giving me the opportunity to do this. Like I said, just to be able to do it and, you know, me winning those games, I'm obviously a benefit of a lot of great teams and a lot of great players that I've been able to play with.

Q. Can you talk just a little about the kind of roll that your starters have been on, including you, this postseason?
ANDY PETTITTE: It's been good, you know. I mean, we know we talked about it. We've got to set the tone. We know what's expected out of us. We know, you know, we're in a good place right now, man. We all talk about what we need to do and what we want to do. We've been able to go out there and, you know, effectively do it. And obviously, that's the tough part. You're going against other great ballplayers and stuff like that.
You know, we're all in this together. Nobody has got to put the weight of the world on their shoulders as far as our team. And I'm talking to the guys about our rotation, you know. We're going to be there. If one of us has a bad outing, the next guy's going to go out and pick each other up.
Fortunately, we haven't had a bad outing yet. But if we continue to go on with this thing, one of us might scuffle here or there. And the other guy's going to need to go out and have a big game the next day or something like that.
So, really I just think we're doing a great job of focusing on the little things right now. Making the pitches during the course of our games and letting everything else take care of itself.

Q. You said mechanically that you didn't feel good coming into the playoffs. Did you change anything coming in? When you pitched against Minnesota?
ANDY PETTITTE: No, like I said, I had a little extra time. So I had three bullpens, because the start in Tampa and then getting ready for my Minnesota start, I think I had eight days. So, no. I didn't change anything. I just had a little more work in the bullpen, maybe, like I said. Just trying to smooth things out a little bit. Everything wasn't together.
You know, I really can't even explain it. There wasn't anything that I really tried to change or work on. I got in a real good rhythm, a real good mental place, locked in for that game against Minnesota. And, you know, like I said, hopefully I can carry that over into my next start tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Andy, thank you for your time. Good luck tomorrow.

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