Been there, done that
Yankees call on Pettitte for another series-clincher
PHOENIX (AP) -- Andy Pettitte stood in the dugout with Roger Clemens in the ninth inning of Game 5 already preparing for the worst -- falling behind 3-2 in the World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"I was a little stressed out because you're thinking you might be pitching the elimination game," Pettitte recalled Friday.
"We were talking about we can go out and throw two good games, right?" Pettitte said. "All of a sudden right before I got it out of my mouth, we throw our hands up in the air because we know Brosius hit it out. It was amazing.
"We feel like we got some momentum going. Hopefully we can get a win tomorrow night and end this thing."
Instead of pitching to save the Yankees' season, Pettitte takes the mound Saturday night for Game 6 against Randy Johnson with the chance to clinch New York's fourth straight World Series title.
It's a familiar role for Pettitte, who has started five of New York's 14 series-winning games since 1996 -- including the 1998 World Series against San Diego and this year's ALCS vs. Seattle.
"It's the same approach, whether it's an elimination game or if it's a clinching game," Pettitte said. "We are going into tomorrow feeling like we have to win. We've got to wrap this thing up."
It won't be easy going against Johnson, who shut out the Yankees on three hits in Game 2. Johnson struck out 11 in his World Series debut, pitching a complete game complete game, something the Diamondbacks surely could use following closer Byung-Hyun Kim's two blown saves in New York.
"The way Randy has thrown the ball this season, and specifically in the postseason, we feel good about our chances," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. Johnson is no longer known for his postseason struggles, having broken his major league-record seven game losing streak earlier in the playoffs. The Big Unit is 3-0 with an 0.72 ERA in his last three starts, including the Game 2 shutout against New York.
"There's no rhyme or reason why I'm relaxed," he said. "Maybe they are just taking notice of some of the things that I am doing now. As far as Game 6, I'll go out with the same game plan as I went out with in Game 2."
That plan worked out pretty well the first time when he overpowered the Yankees with a fastball that approaches 100 mph and the nastiest slider in the game.
New York manager Joe Torre will give Johnson a different look this time, starting lefty Tino Martinez at first base instead of Randy Velarde. Martinez struck out in his only at-bat against his former Seattle teammate, while Velarde has a .452 career average in the regular season against Johnson.
Velarde went 0-for-3 with a walk against Johnson and Torre decided to switch back to Martinez, who led the team with 34 homers and 113 RBIs in the regular season.
A new lineup won't make Johnson change his approach.
"They have obviously seen me," he said. "There's no other pitches that I've come up with in the last couple of days that I'm willing to let you guys know about, so I've just got to go out there and make my pitches and it's really about execution."
Pettitte said he had his best stuff of the season in Game 2, despite allowing four runs in seven innings. He threw 64 of 80 pitches for strikes, but was hurt by a mistake that turned into Matt Williams' three-run homer.
"I hope that my stuff is as crisp as it was my first start," he said. "If it is, I feel like I will be pretty effective again."