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November 1, 2009

Alex Rodriguez


New York Yankees 7
Philadelphia Phillies 4

Q. We were talking to you last night about getting the first hit. Now you have the first game-winning hit in a World Series for yourself. Can you just talk about these moments that you probably dreamed of your whole life to put your team in a position to be one game away from winning the World Series.
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, you just take every at-bat as it comes to you. You know, just try to get a good pitch to hit there and hit it hard. I've only faced Brad Lidge once or twice, I think, in my whole career. He's a great competitor, and he's had a lot of success here as of late in the post-season. Just not trying to do too much.

Q. In terms of being locked in, the way that you're playing the last couple of days, does it seem like the game is in slow motion for you again as it was in the first couple --
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: I think I made an adjustment after the first two games. What I was doing was very simple, I was expanding the strike zone, and that's something that I didn't do against Minnesota or Anaheim. When I get good pitches to hit and I put a good swing on it, good things usually happen.

Q. After you were hit did you take that as extra motivation to get a hit?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: I don't want to comment about being hit.

Q. If you don't want to talk about getting hit three times in two days, I did want to ask you about getting hit three times in two days, and if you don't have a comment on that, just physically, those three big fastballs really nailed you. Has it taken a little bit of an impact on you physically?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: No, I'm actually okay. The one to the thigh left a little bit of a bruise, but I'm okay.
I will say this: That the one time I got hit in yesterday's game, my first at-bat, kind of woke me up a little bit and just reminded me, "Hey, this is the World Series, let's get it going a little bit." So it worked out.

Q. When Johnny got to third and Lidge might not want to throw the slider in the dirt, were you looking specifically fastball there?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: No, not at all. You can't really -- his money pitch is a slider, and that's where he gets all his punchouts. I hit a fastball for a homer earlier in the year at the Stadium.
I mean, for me the whole key of that whole inning was an unbelievable tenacious at-bat by Johnny Damon. This guy is just a great competitor, and then goes first pitch and then goes to third. Put us in a position to get a big hit there in the ninth.

Q. Given the magnitude of the situation, where does that hit rank on your all-time list?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: There's no question, I have never had a bigger hit. But again, if you look at what Mark Teixeira and I have done in this World Series is not much, and it just tells you what a great balanced team we've had all year, and we're getting contributions from all our guys.
Again, it just feels to go out and help the team win.

Q. You've talked for a long time about your team being in the World Series. What does it feel like right now to be one win away from achieving that goal?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: It feels good, but again, we've been down this road before, and we have to stay very focused. Those guys are the world champs. We're going to come out fighting, and so are we, so just staying in the moment.

Q. Talk about the possibility of winning the World Series for the first time in your career.
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: I'm only thinking about the moment.

Q. Can you talk about your desire. You've been really patient in your ABs, especially Game 3 and tonight. But it's also like you're being aggressive, as well. Is this the way you've envisioned it when you talk about desire and really wanting it at this stage?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, I think it is important to stay calm. For me making an adjustment after Game 1 and 2 was very easy because what I was doing was just being a little overanxious.
You know, one thing about post-season, if you want to hit, you've got to swing at strikes, and if you don't swing at strikes, you're going to expose your weakness. That's all I've been trying to do.

Q. What's going to be your approach tomorrow against Cliff Lee?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, again, swing at strikes. He pounds the strike zone. He's been as hot as any pitcher has been over the last two years. It's going to be a great challenge. He's going to come out ready and so are we.

Q. The word that A.J. just used to describe you was "relaxed." Do you feel more relaxed than you have in past October? And if so, why?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, I think we've played more games. Yes, I feel more relaxed. I think this year has been a unique year for me obviously after Spring Training and all the stuff that I've been through, you have nothing to lose. For the first time in my career I've felt like an underdog, just go out and play for the good Lord.

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