Q. The Orioles had hit you fairly well this year. Did you come into this game with a bit of a different game plan how you would attack them?
CC SABATHIA: I wish I could tell you I change my game plan but I don't. I pitch to my strength, attacking in, and just going off my fastball command, and it was working today. The changeup was working really well. These guys know what I am trying to do. I've faced them a lot. I was able just to execute tonight.
Q. You guys have watched Russell struggle with the bat a lot this year. How good do you feel for him coming up with that kind of a hit not only for himself but for the team?
CC SABATHIA: It's awesome. He's struggled all year, but his attitude has never changed. He's come up with some big hits in September, and that was probably one of the biggest there. Obviously, it was the biggest one of the season so far. His attitude has been awesome, even with his struggles, and it's not surprising because he works hard.
Q. At the end of that eighth you kind of had a big fist pump as you watched Jeter make that throw over. It was a pretty tight game obviously. That inning, was that the big spot for you to get out of there with the lead‑off double?
CC SABATHIA: Definitely. Having a run off second with no outs in the bottom of the eighth was huge, and being able to get out of that with a tie and give us a chance to get up and score some runs, which we did, was just a big spot. I normally try not to show a lot of emotion, but it just came out.
Q. Outside of the home run, Russell made two big defensive plays in the fifth. How big a part was he as far as what you accomplished tonight as a pitcher?
CC SABATHIA: Oh, he was huge. That play he made on Lou Ford's ball was unbelievable. I had already conceded that that was going to be a hit, and for him to make that play was great. I mean, Tex with the pick at the end was even better. You know, Russ caught a great game, came up with a big hit and made some huge plays, so it was awesome.
Q. What were the conversations like before going out in the ninth and then on the mound?
CC SABATHIA: You good? I'm good, let's go. That's what the conversation was.
Q. How much did you want to stay in to finish it?
CC SABATHIA: I always want to stay in, and to get one pitch away or one strike away is tough. But we grinded out all game, but it was just one pitch away. You always want to try to finish what you start. Just one of those things.