10/16/05 3:44 PM ET
Andy Pettitte pregame interview
Veteran says his knee feels fine to start Game 5
By / MLB.com
ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I'm feeling a lot better. I'm definitely good to go for tomorrow.
Are you staying off the base paths during batting practice this time around? Are you going to be a little more careful?
PETTITTE: Yeah, I mean, again, I probably won't run around the bases tomorrow, to answer that question.
But, yeah, I can't be any more careful. While I'm running around, I'm watching the whole time. Again, I was watching the whole time. Like I said I jumped out of the way and it still got me, it was chasing me, I couldn't get away from it.
What kind of treatment did you do on this in the last couple of days to get it to the point where it is now?
PETTITTE: Just icing it, just doing a little bit of stim on it just to move the blood out from the one area it was at and trying to move it throughout my leg.
Is it still swollen?
PETTITTE: I've got a little swelling in there still, but it's moved around nice.
Can you talk about Jim Hickey and how he's helped you?
PETTITTE: Jim has done a great job with our staff. Obviously me and Roger know our mechanics extremely well and pretty much any pitch we throw we kind of know what we're doing or whatever mechanically.
You know, I know some of the younger guys it might be a little bit more important for pitching coaches maybe to pick up on some stuff or whatever. But for me, you know, a pitching coach needs to be a good pin cushion and Jim is a great one. He's somebody that will talk to you during the game and listen to you and throw stuff off of him. More than anything, it's just for you to talk and throw stuff off of him. You just kind of need him to listen for you.
So we've gotten extremely close to Jim since he's been here and worked real well with him and he's done a great job with our staff.
What are the pluses and minuses of pitching against a team like the Cardinals, seeing them in Game 1 and then again?
PETTITTE: Well, we know them so well. We've faced them so much, they are in our division, so it's really not like it's the World Series where you had not seen a team or other hitters. You get a chance to see maybe what they are trying to do or whatever.
Really, for me, I was so bad the other night, I just throw that one I mean, I can't get a read off of that, I was so bad, as far as trying to put the ball where I wanted to and I just left a lot of balls right in the hitting zone. For me, I'll just ... that game did nothing for me, let's just put it that way, to try to help me to prepare of how I'm going to go after them this time.
Just curious, did the knee force you to change your routine or alter your between start preparation at all?
PETTITTE: No, I was able to do my stuff in between, threw my pen on the second day like I normally would and stuff like that. I've been able to run around out in the outfield the last couple of days like I would like to do. I wasn't able to lift my legs the day after, obviously, but that's really no big deal. That was really the only thing that indicates it hindered me from doing.
Were there any other issues involved there?
PETTITTE: No, I was just bad. I threw a lot of balls right in the heart of the zone. You know, they took full advantage of them when I did. So just mechanically, I never really got in a real good rhythm and that's what you'd like to do as a starting pitcher.
No matter what happens today in Game 5 tomorrow it will be huge for both sides, is this what it's all about, to give your team a lead or an elimination game, is this what it's all about for you?
PETTITTE: Well, I mean, this is the post season. Game 1 for me was what it was all about. That's why I was so disappointed in having a bad outing, feeling like I started the series off the wrong way, on the wrong foot.
But again, Roger and Roy both had great outings and picked me up and that's what's so nice about having a deep rotation.
I know the Cardinals feel the exact same way. They have got a great pitching staff over there, also. They have probably not got enough credit that they should, but they are very deep and when you're that deep in a rotation it makes you feel a lot better about when you don't have a great outing.
You were talking about Jim Hickey a minute ago, as a guy who went through the Minor Leagues and pitched and never got to the majors and all of a sudden here is he a pitching coach with this staff and with you and Roger and Roy Oswalt; how is it for a guy that has never pitched in the majors, and he's not a young guy, he's one of these old guys?
PETTITTE: Hick does his work. When you do have a question and ask his opinion on stuff, he has an answer for you. He feel good about that. He looks at a lot of video as far as hitters and stuff like that. For the most part we're asking him stuff, we're asking him, okay, how do you think we're going to attack this guy and just get an opinion on that. And again, you know, obviously he had not pitched in the big leagues before, but again, he just does a great job of communicating with us and that's all you can ask for. You get to have a good relationship with someone like that and the relationship is really what it's all about with the way they handle themselves and the way they interact with us, and he does a great job.
In that vein, you've worked so many years with Mel (Stottlemyre) in New York, what was your reaction to hearing that he retired?
PETTITTE: I kind of, you know, I'm real close to Mel, also, with the years that I was there in New York. You know, I know that Mel had been talking about that for several years. So I really expected that. I think he was kind of hanging on last few years, probably trying to get another World Series ring, make another run at it. But Mel's had a lot of stuff go on and Mel's had a lot of health problems a few years back and I think he probably feels like it's just time to just chill, you know, and just go back and go home and sit back and relax here a little bit now.
Is it critical for you not to be affected, you've been through this so many times, in a clinching situation tomorrow, as opposed to the other way, can it affect you one way or the other whether you're clinching or coming off a loss?
PETTITTE: Neither way would you try to have a different mindset or prepare yourself any differently. No matter what happens, you know, again, it's all the same. I'm not going to be successful unless I get out there and get in a good rhythm, get in the zone, move the ball around and change speeds. That's what it's all about, and making pitches, whether we're down or whether it's for a clinch.
No matter what happens, I will not change my approach in one way.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.