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October 5, 2010

C.C. Sabathia


THE MODERATOR: First question for CC.

Q. CC, last year when you came here and there was a lot of talk about how you were going to do in the playoffs, you weren't that successful in October. What did last October do for you going into this postseason? Does it change the way you feel about your ability to pitch the postseason?
CC SABATHIA: It gave me a lot of confidence. Coming here and being in the clubhouse with all the guys that have won so much, gives you confidence that all you have to do is go out and do your part and you have a good chance to win, not try to do too much. I think in the past I was feeling like I had to pitch a shut-out or pitch a no-hitter to win the game and be the hero. But we have so many great guys out there I can go out and just keep us in the game and we have a good chance to win.

Q. CC, last year as a team you guys went on such a roll it didn't seem like anybody didn't believe you were going to win the World Series. The way you guys have played the last several weeks, last couple of months, how has that changed how you look at it as a team?
CC SABATHIA: I don't think it changed it at all. We're still in. We still have a chance to win. It hasn't been as easy as it was last year, but I think that that's going to help you. And, you know, coming down the stretch and trying to get these, try to get these wins to try to repeat. We just have to wait and see what happens. I mean, everything to fall on our lap this year, it has been a tough year. We are still here and still have a chance to win.

Q. Does the uncertainty in the rotation after you put any more pressure on your starts?
CC SABATHIA: I don't see what you guys are saying about uncertainty. Andy Pettitte is the best pitcher in the playoffs in the history of baseball. So I think our rotation stacks up pretty good against anybody.

Q. CC, what is it like being handed the ball for Game 1 of any series in the postseason with the responsibility that comes with it?
CC SABATHIA: You know, it feels good to be able to take the ball. You know, like I said in the past I probably would have put a lot more pressure on myself than I will tomorrow and try to do too much. But it definitely feels good to try to get us a win in the first game and we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Q. CC, in terms of your preparation and the day, how do you treat it compared to a regular-season game?
CC SABATHIA: No different. I think a lot of people know me where I am just kind of laid back. I am the same. I try to treat it no different than any other day I come to the field. You know, nothing special. You know, be ready to go at 6:30 when Dave comes to get me.

Q. CC, you will have to face him tomorrow, since he was a former teammate of yours, what Jim Thome has done for the Twins, especially at this age with Morneau out, is that something that have you kind of admired from afar?
CC SABATHIA: Definitely. I mean, him coming in and hitting 27 homers, whatever it was, like you said at his age and everybody kind of writing him off, him not really playing much at the beginning of the year, and being such a big part of the reason why this team won is definitely great to see such a good guy. And I just wish him the best.

Q. CC, Joe said the plan right now is you will pitch Game 4 on short rest. What is it about pitching on short rest that you have been so successful at? Do you welcome that challenge?
CC SABATHIA: I am definitely excited. Hopefully we won't have to do that, but I think it's just because I am not as strong and I know that I can't go out there and try to overthrow. I have to stay within myself. Make sure my mechanics are good and keep throwing the ball downhill. So I think pitching on three days' rest really helps my mentality because I can't go out there and try to overthrow the ball because I know I don't have it.

Q. CC, you said you don't pitch differently to the ballpark that you are playing in, but what does it feel like pitching in a park that plays as big as this one does?
CC SABATHIA: I mean, it feels good. This is definitely a big ballpark, but I don't pitch any different than I would at Yankee Stadium. I wouldn't throw any different pitches, any different count, just get a few more fly balls to the track.

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