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Clayton Kershaw WS Game 4 pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. In 2008 when you were just getting started, you were on the team here and Joe Torre sent you down, and you were pretty emotional and surprised and upset by that. And you got sent down for two weeks and came back and never got sent down again. Was that an inspirational moment for you?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, not really. I don't remember being that emotional or upset. I kind of saw the writing on the wall, Kuroda was coming off the DL. So no, not really.

Q. In 2008 when you were just getting started, you were on the team here and Joe Torre sent you down, and you were pretty emotional and surprised and upset by that. And you got sent down for two weeks and came back and never got sent down again. Was that an inspirational moment for you?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, not really. I don't remember being that emotional or upset. I kind of saw the writing on the wall, Kuroda was coming off the DL. So no, not really.

Q. After your masterful Game 1 the Astros come back, Astros win again yesterday. What's the experience been like for you to watch the Dodgers after winning so many games, and playing so well, lose these two games in a row?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't think it has anything to do with what I've done in the past. Losing two games in the World Series isn't fun, but Astros are a great team. It's why we play a seven-game series. We've got to win a few games now, and try to get back home to LA.

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Q. Did the contours of this park, specifically the Crawford Boxes, change your approach at all?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, I don't think you can change anything based on where you're at. It's just a matter of making good pitches to these guys. Most of the time I would say it doesn't come into play that much. I feel the homers I give up are pretty legit. As long as you're making your pitches, you might hit one off the wall that you're not supposed to or something, but other than that you can't really change.

Q. Before the 11-game losing streak in August, you guys had been rolling pretty steadily. I wonder if you as a team can take anything from that and how you got out of that that would apply to the World Series?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: You can't compare regular season to postseason. You can't compare a 11-game losing streak to losing two games in the World Series. It has no merit, has no credibility right now.

Each game is in and of itself, Game 7-type atmosphere for us. We know it's getting pretty close to must win, if not a must-win tonight.

So there's not really a change of mentality or a change of anything. We've just got to string together a few more hits, make some big pitches when we need to and get a win.

Q. Your counterpart in rival Dallas Keuchel mentioned that a great pitcher like you always will find a way to win, even if you have only half of your arsenal working that day. How did you develop that mentality?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't know. I think every time you go out there, you're not going to have your best stuff. I think most of the time there's going to be something that's not working the way you want to. So that's why you spend the four days in between for. You prepare, you mentally prepare, visualize what you're going to be able to do out there, and come that fifth day you're not thinking, you're just competing. You're just trying to say, you don't have to show it, "But I'm better than that hitter, I'm going to get him out every single pitch no matter what happens." Just try to live in moment as much as you can each pitch, not worry about what happened after the past has happened. Does that make sense? Kind of.

Q. Last week you were asked about Nolan Ryan, and you had a very humorous remark about Sandy Koufax. Now that you're here in Texas, it's only been two days or three days, but have you had any interaction with Nolan Ryan at all?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, but I've met Nolan in the past. He was with the Rangers when I was in high school and stuff working with them. It's where I grew up. So I've gotten to meet him before and have a lot of respect for him. And he's a great guy. I like him a lot.

Q. Over the years, whether it be regular season, particularly in the postseason, when your team has gotten down, they've turned to you. Can you just speak about the responsibility as an ace of this staff, as a leader what it means for you and how you take that responsibility to kind of turn things around when things are going bad?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Well, yeah, I mean I think everybody wants to be that guy to right the ship, I guess. So sometimes it will fall on me, for sure. But tonight we're putting all our faith in Alex Wood, and we have all the confidence in him to even the series. Regardless of the outcome tonight, I'm going to be ready to go, and looking forward to that challenge.

Q. You obviously had your first World Series start now under your belt. We're a few games into this now. From a mental standpoint, emotional standpoint, how do you feel right now compared to going into the first start?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't know how you compare it. I think -- I guess I haven't been as focused on it as much as I did that first game, just because we've had other games to play. We haven't just been practicing and me stewing on that first game. Tonight I'm going to be locked into this one. It's almost more nerve-wracking watching on the bench, because you feel a little bit helpless and you want us to success so bad. So there's that part of it.

But other than facing the same team again in an AL park and trying to figure out what to change, what not to change, how to change approaches, things like that, other than that the mindset is just about the same.

Q. Depending on the outcome tonight you're either in an elimination game or the series is tied. How have you learned how to harness your emotions, control your emotions for that specific game, regardless of the fact that if you lose, you're done or you can go up and take a lead in the series?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, we've done it before. So a lot of the times I've been standing on the other end of it. Like I said before, hopefully tonight we can even it up, and at least guarantee our chance back in LA. And either way you can't really focus on tonight's game, from my perspective, you've just got to be ready to go pitch. Elimination game, no elimination game, shouldn't change your mindset. Obviously added pressure if it's an elimination game. But it shouldn't change any mindset, for sure.

Q. After three games of watching Houston, what stands out, something you might not have realized until you saw them up close for three games?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't know if anything is surprising. I think they are what we thought they were, whatever movie that is from. I think they're a great team. They have a lot of guys that swing the bats really well. I think Doc mentioned it earlier, the athleticism up and down the lineup. They've got a lot of young talent and guys that can really swing the bats.

And it's a team that is here for a reason. You can tell why they won 100 games. You can tell they play the game well. They play the game hard. You saw it in Game 2, they didn't stop fighting, just like we did. We knew we were in for a good series after that one. Coupled with Dallas and Justin and McCullers threw the ball well yesterday, they've got a lot of guys that -- they're here for a reason. 

Los Angeles Dodgers