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November 1, 2009

A.J. Burnett


New York Yankees 7
Philadelphia Phillies 4

Q. You'll be pitching for the World Series. Do you have to kind of keep yourself in context, keep it low key?
A.J. BURNETT: Well, I mean, I didn't do that in my last start, and I'm going to try to go out the same way I went out my last start. I think the series before I was a little too calm and tried to slow down too much. So I think a pitcher like me has to go out with a little more emotion and a little more -- just feed off their crowd as much as I can. It's going to be tough, but I'm looking forward to it.

Q. How much have you fed off following CC in the rotation, just the run you, Andy and CC have been on this whole post-season?
A.J. BURNETT: Well, you can't help but to be somewhat inspired when he throws, man. He goes deep in the game every time, and just the big presence that he has on the mound. And he's a workhorse. When you are the No. 2 guy behind a guy like that, you have to step your game up a little bit, and I think it pushes me to be better.

Q. Did you ask to go on three days' rest, or did Joe pretty much tell you that you were going on three days?
A.J. BURNETT: They told me I was. They asked me, and I'm like, "all right, I'm in." I knew it might be a possibility. They told me just to be heads up, that it could be a possibility, and that they'd let me know for sure.

Q. You guys have spent a lot of this month answering questions about Alex, but how amazed are you that he's been able to just seemingly be in the middle of everything for like a month straight and just get big hit after big hit for three series like this?
A.J. BURNETT: Well, you know, I wasn't here before this season, so I couldn't tell you how he was. But I know he's about as relaxed as I could have imagined him ever being. It doesn't matter what the situation is when he comes up, he's confident, he's loose, and he's hitting the ball and he's having a blast. When you're doing that, it's kind of hard to beat him.

Q. Obviously you approach tomorrow's game like any other game, but at the same time, these are the games you played in your mind when you were growing up, the imaginary games of being able to win a World Series for whatever team you were on. How does that make you feel, being in this possible position?
A.J. BURNETT: It's great. I've waited a long time for it, and I'm going to take it full stride. I'm going to go out there with everything I've got, and you take nothing for granted. I've seen some crazy things this post-season, and I guess that's why they call it post-season baseball, because anything can happen.
But you've got a great lineup over there, and we're going up against Cliffy. So I'm just going to try to go pitch for pitch against him and keep our squad in it. But I'm looking forward to it and can't wait.

Q. We've made a huge deal of the pitching on short rest. How does it strike you?
A.J. BURNETT: Well, without sounding too confident, I liked it when I did it in the past. It was mid-season obviously and not this late in the season, but I felt great when I did it in the past. My body felt great. It just seems like it doesn't allow you to overdo it. You feel good arm-wise and you get your work in in between. But there's something about going on three days, it's hard to overthrow, it's hard to overdo it, and like I said, I enjoyed when I did it. I loved it.

Q. The night before you pitched at Yankee Stadium, you said, "This isn't just any other game, this is the World Series and I'm cognizant of that." What about going into the World Series with a chance to win this whole thing tomorrow night?
A.J. BURNETT: Well, I'd lie if I said I wasn't going to go home and think about it all night. Like you mentioned a while ago, you dream about it. This is what you talk about growing up. I'm going to do my best to take full advantage of that. I'm not going to take it as just one ordinary game or another start. It's the World Series Game 5, and I'm the starter. That's what it's all about.

Q. Cliff spoke about this before the game, but you guys met in the outfield I think it was yesterday and had sort of a conversation about what it would be like to go against each other. Now that it's happening tomorrow, can you just talk about that a little bit?
A.J. BURNETT: I mean, it's interesting. They've got two country boys from Arkansas going out. Represented by the same guy. We talked yesterday, first thing out of his mouth was "Look at that 'Budweiser' sign in right, that's what I'm going to be aiming for." I said, "Go ahead, 'cause I can hit, too, I was in the National League for six years."
It's gonna be fun. It is one of those games you go out there and talk about it but I can't worry about him too much. I've got a pretty tough lineup ahead of me tomorrow night, and I can't worry about what Cliff does, I've got to worry about what A.J. does.

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