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Pettitte ready for postseason return

10/08/2012 1:42 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Andy Pettitte will pitch Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles tonight, nearly 16 years to the day that he started (and won) Game 5 of the 1996 ALCS at Camden Yards to help the Yankees reach their first World Series since 1981.

Prior to Sunday night’s Game 1, Pettitte held a press conference in Baltimore to discuss all things postseason, including what’s on his mind as he prepares to try for his MLB-record 20th postseason victory on Monday night. A strong performance and a win tonight would put the Yankees up 2-0 in the series, giving them three chances at Yankee Stadium to move on to the ALCS against Oakland or Detroit.

Here are some snippets from Pettitte’s press conference, which you can watch in full below:

On his postseason success: “If you look at my postseason numbers, I feel like they’re pretty similar to what they are in my career. I’m a benefit of a lot of great teams with a lot of great players around me and a whole lot of opportunity to do this … a combination of all that has allowed me to have some success in the postseason.”

On the Yankees’ postseason experience: “It can’t hurt, that’s for sure. I know I feel good about going into a game, and knowing that whatever happens won’t surprise me, but as far as it being an advantage, I’m not real sure. Hopefully it is, and their inexperience is also an advantage for us, but I don’t see that happening; (Baltimore) is a very good team and we’re going to have to play real well to beat these guys. If you don’t make quality pitches, they’re going to hurt you.”

On his favorite postseason memory: “Probably in 1996, having an opportunity to start Game 1 (of the World Series) and pitch terrible and feel like I blew it for us…and then getting to pitch Game 5 in Atlanta. Right along with it, the World Series in 2009 was special also, for me to be able to pitch the clinching game in the first season in the new ballpark.”

On his up-and-down 2012 season: “It was definitely not ideal; going through the season, I figured that when I told the Yankees I was going to come back that we’d work something out and I’d have been there from the get-go, so to start the season a month or so late was awkward. It was a thrill to come back, and I was doing some of the things I thought I could do, so to get hurt and miss what I thought would be four-to-six weeks and ended up being almost three months was extremely disappointing. … A lot of ups and downs, a roller coaster for sure, but in the end we got where we wanted to be, and when I came back this is what I was hoping to have the opportunity to do.”

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