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October 31, 2009

Andy Pettitte


New York Yankees 8
Philadelphia Phillies 5

Q. Obviously you're a veteran of many situations, but what does it do to you as you're sitting around waiting to start a game and it's raining and you don't know when game time is going to be, and there's meetings going on? How do you readjust?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, you know, for me I've had a lot of rain delays this year already, and I feel like I've been pitching in a lot of rain. But it affected me a little bit today.
You know, I was heated up and ready to go and felt like I was in a real, real good place mentally, and right as I was about to walk out the door to go to the bullpen, they shut me down.
For me that was -- I really feel the way that I've been feeling this post-season out there and the way I felt out there in the first inning that I wasn't quite as locked in and didn't feel quite like I had been feeling.

Q. When did it start falling into place?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, it never really felt like it fell really good in place. I felt like I started getting a few balls where I wanted to get them. But it was a battle tonight. I wasn't able to get ahead. I wasn't able to get my breaking ball over. You know, fortunately enough, they had some lefties in the lineup that I was able to cut some balls, get them away from them in some big situations and able to get some outs when I needed to get some.
But it was a grind tonight for me, where I've been feeling like I've been able to put the ball right where I want to all post-season so far.

Q. You said yesterday that any time you give up more than a couple runs in a post-season game, you feel like you're going to walk out with a loss or no decision. After the second inning what were you thinking?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, you're thinking, I've given up three, don't give up another one. After that I was frustrated about that, and I'm thinking you've got to go six or seven right here, you can't give up another run. Then obviously we put up a big number, the crooked number in that one inning, and obviously then you just feel really good about what we've done, and you're hoping that I can just keep things together against that lineup to just get us through some innings and eat some innings up.
But it was tough. I'm not going to lie to you, I couldn't put the ball where I wanted to, I wasn't getting it down and away consistently like I wanted to, and like I said, I wasn't able to throw my curveball for strikes. It was an absolute grind tonight, that's for sure.

Q. The base that you hit off Hamels, it looked like a curveball. That can't be what you would have been looking for in that situation. Just take us through that.
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, first of all, runners in scoring position, I'm going to be a little bit more aggressive. I wasn't taking -- I just saw a ball up in the zone, so I'm not trying to hit a home run, I'm trying to slap the ball around, and fortunately enough I got a ball up in the zone, and I was able to slap it back up the middle.

Q. Are you available to pinch-hit the next couple days?
ANDY PETTITTE: I was joking with a few of the guys, I've got a few World Series knocks now, and now I've got an RBI, so pretty happy about that. (Laughter).

Q. To get Game 3, and especially with CC tomorrow now, how much momentum do you feel like is back on your team's side?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, you know, we feel good. I mean, not trying to sound too overconfident or arrogant, but even when we lost the first game, our club feels good about ourselves. We feel like we've got a real strong team. You know, so obviously losing that first game we weren't happy with that. We were upset about it. But we feel real good about what we're doing, and we felt good about coming in here.
So you know, we feel good about being up 2-1. We know there's a lot of work left to do. These guys are going to be tough. This is a tough place to play. This is a tough ballpark to pitch in. If you make a mistake, the ball is going to get hit, and the ball flies out of here. The ball, it was carrying. So we've just got to keep pitching, and hopefully we can make big pitches when we need to to get out of some jams. They had me up against the ropes and I'm thankful I was able to get out of that inning without giving up more than those two runs. So that was big for me right there.

Q. You've won a lot of post-season games. Do you think that you've ever won one quite like this one where you got down so early and had to fight the way you did? And how much do you draw on all the times you've been out there in October at times like this?
ANDY PETTITTE: I can't remember winning a game, I may have, but I can't remember winning a game where I've struggled like I did tonight. It's very gratifying to be able to go out there and just battle through it. Really that's all. I knew where I was when the game started. I knew after the first inning, even though I got through that first, the ball wasn't going where I wanted it to exactly, and usually lately it has been.
So it's just going back to the dugout, talking to Dave and the guys and just trying to take it slow, take one pitch at a time and realizing it's a long game, and hopefully that our offense could get clicking and get going, and we got going tonight, and that was a good thing to see.
It's hard to draw on. You know, past success or whatever, when you're standing out on that mound and the ball is not going where you want it to. When Jimmy was up there I was trying to throw the ball on the outside corner, and it just wasn't going there. You know, it's a grind when you're out there and you're by yourself. There's not a whole lot of anything that can help you except just trying to just keep battling and keep trying to get it there and keep trying to get it there, and hopefully it'll come around.

Q. Not to rain on your parade for your hit, but I want to ask you about right after that, looked like Derek Jeter might have just caught you almost coming into home plate. He said he could have easily caught you, but it would have been embarrassing. I just wondered your own take on that, if you heard him coming from behind and your own comment on your wheels.
ANDY PETTITTE: First of all, I have no wheels at all. I know that. I am very slow. I mean, very slow. (Laughter).
And the first thing Derek said was, "I almost caught you." When he told me, "Nice job," when he scored right there.
I'm not going to lie to you guys, I was gassed tonight. I mean, I was gassed running around the bases. Then the next inning I had to cover first, and that gassed my legs even more. It was a rough night for me. Just like I said, just very thankful I was able to give us a decent start and able to get us a win here. This was a big win for us.

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