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October 7, 2010

Andy Pettitte


New York Yankees 5
Minnesota Twins 2

THE MODERATOR: First question for Andy, please.

Q. Andy, Joe and Lance were talking about your ability to make a pitch, a big pitch in a tough spot consistently throughout your career. Is it because you have an ability to remain calm and keep your composure? Or is it mechanically something you do differently? Is it a physical or mental thing I guess is what I am asking?
ANDY PETTITTE: I would have to say both, you know, because obviously if mentally if you're there, that's great. But then you still have to physically, you know, mechanically get the ball in the spot that you need it to get into. Again, I just think the biggest part of it is just being able to control your emotions though, also. Because when this play starts rocking and the fans are going crazy, it's just like I said yesterday, it is hoping you get the tunnel vision, just nothing is going to faze you, nothing is going to make you nervous and just, you know, seeing the pitch, seeing the pitch and making the pitch. And hoping it does what you're planning on to do.

Q. Andy, talk about that second inning, and that seemed to be the pivotal moment that you did extricate this game.
ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, that was big. You love the double play. It's the postseason. I felt really good. I probably felt like I threw a pretty good pitch to Kubel 2-0. I didn't get the call, so it went to 3-0. And it's just, you know, I am not going to throw a cookie in there. I will take my walk and take my chances or getting a double play or getting what I got, a sacrifice fly. You know, it is like one run is not going to kill me. So just not giving in there. Just not going to give Kubel anything to hurt me with there. He's good fastball hitter. And then just taking my chances with, you know, the next guy that's coming up. And really, just feeling like I was going to get a double play, you know. Instead I got a sac fly, which obviously they were looking for to get a run on the board.
And for me, just to get out of that with only giving up one run is kind of a victory because you feel, like I told you all a hundred times. I feel really good about my team. The guys on my side are hitters, and we feel like we're going to put some runs up on the board.

Q. Andy, not everybody could take the results of the last two starts you had and feel as confident as you did going in, that you have everything you needed for this start. What made you so confident? At what point tonight did you feel like you were there?
ANDY PETTITTE: (Laughing) Well, you know, I think yesterday I told the guys that I have never felt so unprepared going into the playoffs. And I really, I mean, I felt like I would have a good outing, but it was just so similar. I got locked in. Mechanically I just felt great. You know, the ball come out of my hand good. I asked the good Lord to help me get through it whenever I started the game. And Jorgie called a great game. Just so that got me even more in a good rhythm and feeling comfortable, because we were just on the same page from the get-go. And obviously that makes you settle right in a lot easier, also.

Q. Andy, a couple of your teammates just said that one of the reasons you have been so successful in the postseason, at least they believe, is that you just never seem nervous at all in these situations. Are you nervous when you pitch the postseason games? If not, how are you able to maintain your poise the way you do?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, again, I am nervous. There is anxiety going into the game. There's no doubt about it. And I think that just anytime you're doing anything like that, just the expectations, you don't know exactly how the outcome is going to be maybe and just thinking about that. Once the game starts, it's really that's the easy part. It literally is almost like when the crowd gets into it or whenever things get louder out there, I almost feel like I can slow it down even more. I don't know if that sounds strange, but that's kind of how I feel out there, you know. And again I've said it 100 times, I will say it over and over, literally I ask the good Lord to calm my nerves and help me relax and be able to do what I want to do, and do my job out there and just try to see my pitches and not get nervous, not get rattled and tight where I am jerking balls across the middle of the plate and stuff like that. And fortunately, I have been able to do that a good bit.
I mean, I've had horrible starts. I've struggled out there and not been able to get it going. So again, those were all ones that kind of you remember and you kind of feed off of those because you know that feeling. And it makes you want to get locked in even more.

Q. Andy, you helped convince Lance to waive his no-trade and come to New York and it has been a couple of frustrating months for him. How happy were you to see him have a couple of hits like that and were you surprised given what you have seen the last couple of months for him to come up with a couple of big hits tonight?
ANDY PETTITTE: You know, I know it has been frustrating for him. It really has. I wasn't shocked because again, and again, I have been telling everybody in the clubhouse, it is like, this guy can hit the ball so far to the opposite field, he has more power oppo probably than anybody I ever played with and it hasn't clicked for him for the last two months. And he literally told me he kind of made an adjustment in his stance, him and K Long the other day, and he said he was launching balls in BP yesterday. And he said he felt unbelievable up there and felt like he was going to be able to drive the ball the other way. And I mean, then he goes out and hits a couple of balls oppo like he did tonight. It is amazing if you can find a little something to get you right. I am just so happy for him. He has been extremely frustrated, feeling like he hasn't contributed like he feels like he should. And he came up big tonight and contributed in a big way tonight, that's for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Andy.

End of FastScripts

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