10/18/10 10:03 PM ET
Interview with Pettitte after Game 3 of ALCS
By / MLB.com
ANDY PETTITTE: It was just a bad pitch by me. I hung a cutter, left it on the inner half. I was trying to get it down and away, and, you know, he hit it out. And at the time you don't think that's going to win the ballgame. You know, have all the confidence in the world in my guys, and especially here at the stadium, just feel like, all right, you've got to shut them down and we are going to win this ballgame. Unfortunately we were just not able to get it done.
Cliff was great tonight, to say the least. Just he was ‑‑ he was just outstanding. You can't say enough about what he did tonight in this ballpark, to be able to do what he did is pretty impressive.
Q. Were you surprised by the offense, especially in the 8th inning when they kept scoring those runs? What went through your mind?
ANDY PETTITTE: Were you asking me if I was just surprised at our offense?
Q. Of the Texas offense.
ANDY PETTITTE: Was I surprised about them as far as ‑‑
Q. Like in the 8th inning they scored four runs. Were you taken aback by that?
ANDY PETTITTE: I think they scored ‑‑ yeah, that was ‑‑ you know, I was surprised that they blew it open. Is that what you were asking me? That's surprising, because again, you feel like if you can keep that game close that we have got a shot. If we can get a baserunner on; if we can keep it at 2‑0. It's definitely surprising they were able to blow it open as wide as they did.
We feel as though we have a very strong bullpen. Robby made a couple decent pitches, some groundballs that got right through the infield that could easily have been double plays. That's what happens when you get down there.
Q. Do you keep expecting the offense to break loose, as effective as they were the regular season?
ANDY PETTITTE: Oh, I definitely did. I just think we are going to get a guy on and he'll make a mistake and we'll pop one out. To tell you the truth, it's just what you expect here. You just come to expect it. I hate to say that.
Unfortunately sometimes that doesn't happen. You know, but again, like I said, you've just got to give them credit. He came in here and he pitched a great game. I haven't seen many games thrown like that at Yankee Stadium. I know Josh Beckett beat me in the World Series, I believe, 2‑0 when he shut us out at Yankee Stadium. I'm trying to think of performances like that; that was, again, like I said, you've got to give him a lot of credit. It's pretty impressive to see.
Q. The pitch to Hamilton in the first, did you want that more outside?
ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I was trying to go away with a cutter and I left it inner half. And I mean, he just dropped the head on it. He didn't even hit it that good, caught it out front. And if you catch a ball and hit it on the barrel at this stadium, it's a home run, unfortunately.
Literally, it hurts. You wish he would have fouled it off or something because I threw probably a couple, two or three other pitches the whole game where I didn't want to, and it ended up costing a ballgame. But when you have a guy over there throwing like Cliff is, that's what costs you ballgames right there.
Q. It seems like the fans might have been saluting you, maybe thinking this might be the last time they see you here, does anything like that ever cross your mind when you're coming out of this game?
ANDY PETTITTE: I would say, you know, when I'm out of the game, sitting in the clubhouse, you kind of think about that. But then there's a lot of baseball to be played, left. And I feel real good about our team and about the club that we have.
And we plan on coming out here and winning, you know, the ballgame tomorrow here, and hopefully we can do that.
Like I said earlier, we didn't think this was going to be an easy series. We knew these guys were good. They are tough. They can pitch. And when they can pitch, it makes for a hard series. They are an all‑around good team. Hopefully we'll have a few more starts besides this one.
Q. After tonight, what is your feeling about possibly coming back on three days' rest?
ANDY PETTITTE: You know, like I've told y'all, I'll do whatever they tell me to do. I can do whatever they want me to do. I mean, whatever.
I got tired out there tonight, I mean, but I haven't thrown more than 88 pitches I don't think, 87 pitches, in probably a month and a half or so. I was running on fumes but I was able to give us a decent chance, it felt like. But outside of that, whatever this organization wants me to do, I'll do, and I'll do the best I can.
Interview with Girardi after Game 3 of ALCS
Q. Is A.J. still starting tomorrow?
JOE GIRARDI: Yes.
Q. Was that at all a thought process for you?
JOE GIRARDI: No.
Q. How much of this series do you think is their pitching and how much do you think is your offense being a problem?
JOE GIRARDI: I thought Cliff Lee was excellent tonight. He knows how to change speeds. He knows how to pitch in and out. He knows how to read swings. And he adapts very quickly. And I thought he threw the ball extremely well tonight.
We haven't swung the bats great. But we have seen some pretty good pitching, and we are not the only lineup that they have shut down. But I still believe that we are going to hit, and that we have a good offense and tomorrow's a new day.
Q. Andy's pitching, just how frustrating for him to pitch that well ‑‑
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, he pitched a great game. He left one cutter up a little bit and Josh Hamilton hit it out of the ballpark, and we know how dangerous he is. The two balls that he has hit out of the ballpark are breaking balls that we didn't get where we wanted. We got them down and away. He got CC for one and he got Andy for one. And he swung the bat better this series.
He didn't play a lot in the month of September. Sometimes a guy is a little rusty, and we know how dangerous he is.
Q. How much consideration, if any, do you give to bringing in Rivera just to hold them at two, and ultimately, why did you decide against that?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, Mo is a guy that sometimes we use multiple innings in a situation that if we are ahead. Our bullpen had been really, really good up until that point. Boone had done his job. Robby had done his job. We were down 2‑0 and if you bring in Mo, you may not have him available for multiple innings tomorrow, if you want to use him. So we went with guys that were throwing well in a situation where we were down.
Q. You're trailing for a first time in a series in the playoffs; does your approach or mindset change for Game 4 here tomorrow?
JOE GIRARDI: Your approach is still the same. You prepare and try to win the game tomorrow just like you do every day. We are down two games to one but we are a resilient club. We have been all year. You don't win 95 games in your division without being resilient and I expect our guys to come out and play well tomorrow.
Q. We are only three games into a seven-game series and I understand how resilient the club is, but considering A.J. is a question mark and Cliff Lee is looming for Game 7, how much trouble do you think your team is in right now?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't think we are in trouble. As I said, we are a good club and we are down 2‑1. We are not down 3-0 and losing in the bottom of the ninth. We are losing two games to one. You go out and play a good game tomorrow, you feel a lot different. The mood can change a little bit. Yeah, it's frustrating that we have lost the last two games in a row, but we have lost two games in a row before and bounced back and won a bunch of games in a row.
You put this one behind you, you forget about it and go get them tomorrow.
Q. Overall in this series, what have you thought of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter in terms of their at-bats?
JOE GIRARDI: They pitched them tough. They have pitched them tough. These guys are professional hitters and gone through streaks where they have not gotten hits for a couple of days and they have bounced back as well.
As I said tomorrow is a new day. The sun will come up and we'll play a new game tomorrow night.
Q. You've seen how quickly some games can get away; how short of a leash do you have to have tomorrow?
JOE GIRARDI: We've talked about that before. We talked about that in the pregame. You watch how a guy is doing, and if he's giving up a run, how he's giving it up and how he's pitching and how he's locating. You don't jump to quick decisions. But tomorrow's an important game, there's no doubt about it.
Q. Given that you've seen some of your guys struggle on extra rest and A.J. has not pitched in two weeks, is there any concern?
JOE GIRARDI: There's a little concern but A.J. threw a game basically six days ago so for A.J., he's pretty much on normal rest for him and he's able to do his normal bullpens and do his routine the last seven or eight days.
Q. The 8th inning, about four or six runs or so were scored; what happened at that point? Like what happened with the defense? I mean, what was going on right there? I mean, they scored another four runs or so. What was going on there?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, they were hitting some balls in the hole and we couldn't afford to give them extra runs, so we had the infield in, is kind of what was going on.
When you're down two runs going into the top of the ninth, you can't play the infield back and play for a double play and afford to give a club extra runs. So they hit some balls in the hole, they got threw the hole, Robby got some groundballs, unfortunately they were in the hole and they scored some more runs.
Q. I know you have confidence in your offense but when you are down 2‑0 and Lee is throwing the way he was, does it feel like more?
JOE GIRARDI: We have a lot of guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark. I know Cliff Lee is good, but he is human. He has given up a run before. I know he's a great pitcher. We have seen it time and time again.
But this is a ballpark that you can give up some home runs from time ‑‑ and it only takes one guy to get on and a good swing of the bat.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.