Oct. 7 Andy Pettitte pregame inteview

Q. If you could chalk up your success at this time of year throughout your career, what would it be to?

ANDY PETTITTE:  Well, I mean, obviously when you say that, I mean, I feel like I've had some good games, but then I feel like I've had some bad games.  I think if you look at my numbers in the postseason, if you have enough opportunities, I think you are what you are.  I feel like that my numbers in the postseason are pretty similar what they are in my career.  I'm a benefit of a lot of great teams with a lot of great players around here, having a whole lot of opportunities to do this, and you combine all that with ‑‑ I feel like I have the ability to make pitches sometimes in some crucial situations, and you're going to be fairly successful.

I would say a combination of all that is what's allowed me to have some success in the postseason.

Q.  You have guys on your pitching staff like yourself, CC and Derek Lowe in the bullpen with a lot of postseason experience.  I am wondering how much easier do you think that makes it for you guys?

ANDY PETTITTE:  I mean, it's definitely ‑‑ I think it's good, there's no doubt about it.  It can't hurt, that's for sure.

So I know we probably feel good about that.  I know I feel good about going into a game and knowing that whatever happens out there is really not going to surprise me.  So I mean, that's a good feeling.

But as far as everyone talking about a kind of advantage or whatever, I'm not real sure.  You know, hopefully it is an advantage to us.  Hopefully their inexperience is an advantage to us.  But you know, I don't see that happening.  I see them as a very good team.  I see them ‑‑ that we're going to have to play real well to beat these guys.

Q.  What's your favorite postseason memory for you?

ANDY PETTITTE:  Immediately, again, I've said this over and over, I think, just ‑‑ probably in '96, having the opportunity to start Game 1 and then pitched terrible and just feel like finally the Yankees, we get back to a World Series after all the years of waiting, and I blow it for us, and then having the opportunity to pitch Game 5 in Atlanta.  So I would say probably Game 5.  You say that, and then right along with it, the one in 2009, the World Series in 2009, was awfully special for me, also, to be able to pitch that clinching game the first year at the new ballpark.  Those are the things, the first two that come into my mind.

Q.  After your second start back last month you said you still weren't real happy with some of the sharpness of your stuff and that's one thing you wanted to try to get cleaned up.  I know you only had three starts total, but how do you feel about where that is right now?  Did you fix any of the things you were concerned about last month?

ANDY PETTITTE:  Yeah, obviously another start after that one gave me a chance to just hopefully find some of the stuff I was looking for.  I feel good about it.  I mean, I'm ready to go.  Like I've said, I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, I think, and ‑‑ you know, only thing I can say is I'm ready.  I'm going to quit analyzing what I had at the end of the season.  It's a whole new season now, a whole different ballgame, and I'm going to go out there and hopefully I can get in a good rhythm, get a good feel for my pitches, and that's all I'm looking for, man.

Q.  Other than Jeffrey Maier, what were your recollections of the '96 series against the Orioles?

ANDY PETTITTE:  Just that I remember it was a good series.  I remember I believe I had the opportunity to pitch the clinching game here that helped us get to the World Series.  That's something that I remember.  I mean, it was a long time ago, so I don't remember a whole lot about it.  I'm trying real hard right now, but that's about as good as I can get.  I believe ‑‑ I may be wrong, but I believe that I was able to pitch here in Baltimore, and I just remember facing ‑‑ I remember ‑‑ I think Cal was in that lineup and Bobby Bonilla, just a lot of great players on their team, and that was a big thrill for me to pitch that game, to help us go to the World Series there.

Q.  Is there any way you can summarize this year for us, like from retirement to coming back to the injury and now to get to pitch this game in the playoffs?

ANDY PETTITTE:  Well, it was definitely not ideal, that's for sure.  Again, just going through the season, I literally ‑‑ I thought I would be ‑‑ I figured whenever I told the Yankees that I was going to come back that we'd work something out and I would have been there from the very get‑go of the season.

And so to start the season a month or so late was obviously awkward, to still be down there in Tampa and know that your team is up here playing was awkward, and then a thrill to come back and to feel like I kind of settled in and was doing some of the things that I would be able to do, but you're just kind of ‑‑ you weren't real sure until you proved it to yourself.  And to get hurt, to miss what I thought would be four weeks to six weeks and ended up being almost three months was extremely disappointing.

And then obviously just the process of trying to get ready, to help the team down the stretch, and then hopefully be able to help them get into the postseason.

So a lot of ups and downs, a roller coaster for sure, but in the end we got to where we want to be, we're in the position we wanted to be in.  This is what I was hoping to have the opportunity to do, and so that's exciting for me personally.

All in all, it's been a good year so far.  Hopefully we can continue to do this.

Q.  There's no doubt that all the experience you have is a benefit, especially with dealing with the emotions of the moment, but I'm sure I couldn't say your thoughts as a pitcher, the Orioles and Yankees have played 18 times, there's no secret.  Because of what's building, is the experience neutralized at all?

ANDY PETTITTE:  I mean, I would say yes and then you could say no to a certain degree.  It depends how guys handle themselves out there, which is an unknown.  It's all about being able to control yourself in the heat of the moment when ‑‑ in big situations and stuff like that.  I'm not real sure.  All I can really control and know how I'm going to be out there as far as handling those situations, I don't know how anybody else is.  You hope that they don't handle them very well and that might give us some advantage.

But bottom line is as a pitcher, I've got to make good pitches.  These guys have a lot of power up and down their lineup.  If you don't make quality pitches, they're going to hurt you, and it's not going to be a good game.

You know, again, experienced, not experienced, these guys know us, we know them well.  Some of these guys I haven't faced yet, either, so for me, you can get all the scout reports, I can watch how we've pitched them all year, but also for me it'll be a little weird because I haven't faced some of their hitters.  So that'll be something that I'll need to be on top of my game on.

Q.  It's a lineup that's evolved over the year, and you've seen some of them, you've gotten the scouting reports about them.  What impresses you the most about the Orioles' lineup when you head out there knowing you're going to go up against them?

ANDY PETTITTE:  Well, just like any other game, you start talking about the top of their lineup, when you go into these games, trying to figure out how to keep those guys off the bases.  Nate has done a great job of stepping in when Nick got hurt.  Immediately you go right to Adam Jones, because he has just evolved into such a great player.

You know, they just do a lot of good things.  They've got speed, they've got some guys that will steal bases.  You know that they're going to be pretty aggressive out there, and they've got some guys, like I said, that have power up and down the lineup.  And if those guys get on and you're worried about base runners and you make a mistake in the middle of the zone, they can hurt you and they can hurt you with the long ball.

They're a well‑rounded team, that's for sure.  And Buck has done a great job of managing them, and to put them in good positions to win ballgames.

Q.  You've said that in terms of next year, you want to wait until the offseason, but I'm wondering, the decision that you eventually make, does it hinge on how the Yankees do this postseason?

ANDY PETTITTE:  I don't think so.  You know, I'm not ‑‑ again, I'm not real sure.  We've got ‑‑ if we were able to go all the way, we'd have another month or so left.  But I don't think.  I just think it's going to be a situation where you, again, just need to go home, see if I want to do this again.  It's great when the family is here, in the summer and my family is here and they're running around, but it's not great whenever they're in Texas and I'm in New York, and it's a long way back there.  You know, it's just going to be really a matter of if I feel like it's something that I want to do again.

I know one thing:  I know the competition and the desire to compete is still there, and I don't feel like I kind of got that itch out from the 70 innings or so that I threw this year.  I was expecting to do a little bit more work than that.  But we'll see.  We'll see how this goes, and then I'll factor everything probably in.