Q. How you doing?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Great.
Q. When did Dave first come to you and talk to you, I guess, about pitching in the ninth tonight?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: I came to him, you know, once Kenley went out there in the seventh. I was just kind of doing the math. I know Kenley -- I don't think Kenley's ever done a six-out save, let alone a nine-out save. He threw 20 pitches in that seventh inning, and I just said, I'm going to go get loose, see how I feel and I'll let you know, but I might be able to do this. That's kind of what happened, yeah.
Went out there, I kind of knew all along that I would have Murphy. If Kenley went one, two, three right there, I'm not getting in the game. But he told me to be ready for Murphy, and I felt fine, so it was good.
Q. Clayton, can you compare the feeling right now, physically, mentally, emotionally, to anything in your career?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: I've thrown out of the bullpen maybe three times. I don't know how many, but never obviously -- never in that situation. So the adrenaline rush was pretty good right there.
No, I really can't. I mean, it's a different feeling to be out there for the last out. Just trying to keep everything in check, you know, it gives me a lot of respect for closers. You're doing that 75 times a year, so that's pretty impressive. You know, maybe not for me (smiling).
Q. How many pitches do you throw? How much faster did you get warmed up as a reliever, as opposed to when you're starting?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: You know the only thing for me, obviously the routine was completely different, but I had plenty of time getting loose. I threw enough pitches, took my time. Tried to time it out as best I could.
I don't really know how many pitches I threw. It's kind of what I usually do in a bullpen, minus about -- you know, I had a plan out there. I knew what I was going to do warming up and I did it. I actually felt pretty good.
I wasn't going to throw a bullpen -- today is my bullpen day and I wasn't going to throw a bullpen today, anyway. I was just going to throw a short one tomorrow. So I guess I kind of got my bullpen out of the way, and I really did feel fine. So it was good.
Q. These were obviously a really tough five games. What can you say about the Nationals and the battle?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, I mean, I think these are the most difficult games to win, just every at-bat, every pitch, it seemed like it was important. The at-bats that the Nationals had the entire series, you know, it just felt like it was a constant 2-2, foul off three pitches, seven-pitch at-bats.
You know, Harper, he might not have gotten a ton of hits, but the at-bats that he had the whole time; Werth, the at-bats that he had the whole time; obviously Murphy, best hitter on the planet, and just up and down the lineup. It just was a grind to get through.
You know, you can't -- they are a really good team. It's impressive. Max had his good stuff tonight. Worked out of some jams. Can't say enough about what J.T. did, even though he walked once, I know, but just the at-bat that he had there in the fourth or fifth, I think, probably cut him down an inning. He only got to go six instead of seven. Might have been the difference in the game, honestly. That was huge.
Q. You said you knew you were going to face Daniel Murphy.
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah.
Q. But again, the third time maybe you said coming out of the bullpen, when you're in the moment, it's Game 5, you're running out to the mound, what is going on?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: I sure hope I get him out, yeah. You know, he's probably the best hitter in the National League. He was out for I don't know how long for the regular season, and came back in the series and just put the barrel on the ball every at-bat, basically.
So it's a tough out right there. I think thankfully I missed my spot honestly and got in on him a little bit and got him to jam. But he's such a tough out and I think honestly, all you can do is just -- all I did was just throw as hard as I can and hope he gets out.
Q. You had never pitched to Carlos Ruiz before and you come in in a tense moment and that's the first time there; what kind of confidence did you have throwing to him there?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Well, Chooch has been there, done that. I've seen it firsthand. He's gotten huge hits off me before in the post-season. He's been there. He's calm. He's confident back there. I think I actually crossed him up on the first pitch, and it was my fault. I think he did a good job of just knocking that first pitch down.
He's caught me a lot of bullpens, and he's really worked since he got here to try to learn the pitchers. You know, he's a true -- he's a guy you want on your team, no doubt. He works tirelessly at what he can, and you know, got the huge hit for us today.
Q. There's been a more forward-thinking approach to relief pitching this whole series, especially today. But I'm just wondering, like when you woke up today, could you have envisioned the final nine outs playing out the way it did today?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, well, not the last two, that's for sure.
Yeah, I guess I didn't envision Kenley coming in in the seventh. Obviously, in these type of situations, you know, I think Kenley for five, maybe six outs. The situation called for it; we needed to get out of that inning in the seventh.
You can't say enough about Kenley, what he's done this whole season, and then what he did tonight. I think he threw -- what did he throw, 50 pitches or something like that? If he's going to do that, and J.T. is going to do what he's going to do, it's just the nature of our team. We just want to pick each other up. I wanted to be out there tonight, and I'm glad it worked out that way.
But no, I didn't see it working out that way, for sure.
Q. To come back and win this series down 2-1, you pitched Game 4, you close out this game.
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah.
Q. With all the range of emotions that have gone on in the last two games of this series, what's it like to win it and move on?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Well, I think you said that the key thing is move on. You know, we're all -- obviously we've all done everything we can do the absolute max that we have right now. But we've still got to win eight more games, and I think we realize that, and this team knows that.
It's a satisfying feeling tonight, no doubt, and we're going to enjoy it and we're going to celebrate tonight and we're going to have a lot of fun doing it.
But tomorrow, we're going to Chicago and our mind is completely shifted to beating the Cubs. They are a pretty solid team, from what I understand, and so I think we've got to really enjoy this one for, I mean, shoot, what is it 1:30 already? We've got to enjoy this for a few more hours and then we've got to get on that plane and change our mind-set for sure.
Q. Would you say it was an easy sell with Dave Roberts for you to come into the game? He said that you talked to him about the eighth inning. Was it an easy sell? What popped in -- did you worry anything at all about injury and the short rest?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: No. You know, we kind of talked about the situations and the different scenarios that could happen. You know, physically, I really do feel fine. I don't have any injury concerns. Back feels good. Arm feels good.
You know, at the end of the day, if we don't win that game, we're going home, anyway, so what does it matter. I just wanted to be available, and it ended up to the point where I could help out tonight.
As far as an easy sell or not easy sell, I think Doc was initially hesitant for sure. But I don't know, medium sell, I guess, I don't know (smiling).