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NLCS Game 2: Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner postgame interview

October 15, 2017

Q. I'm going to just bring up the fact that you both have shirts on that have other teammates' numbers and names on them. It seems like all season it's been all about you guys all the time. Just address some of that; that it's not one guy, it's really

Q. I'm going to just bring up the fact that you both have shirts on that have other teammates' numbers and names on them. It seems like all season it's been all about you guys all the time. Just address some of that; that it's not one guy, it's really all of you.
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, I actually had to go into Yasi's locker to get this one. I can still smell his cologne that he put on it. But, yeah, this team's incredible. All season long it hasn't been about one guy. It's a group of guys all showing up to the field and figuring out a way to win a ballgame one night at a time. You know, we've been pretty good at that so far.
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Q. Justin and Kenley, you guys sat at this very table in January after you both signed your contracts and made your decision to come back here for this very reason, to get into this postseason. As Kenley mentioned, that desperation to get a ring. The thought that you guys did this together and the way that you're continuing to be able to get to that goal that you wanted to reach?
KENLEY JANSEN: Well, it started that night at my wedding. My wedding night, the day that me and J.T. were getting a haircut, we were talking about it. From there we just made a decision. And we know what we've got here, and we know the group of guys that we have here. We know how short we felt last year. And the Cubs deserved it last year. The fact that we see how close we got, and we know it's unfinished business, and we have that goal. We've been talking about it in January. When we got to Spring Training we had that mindset. And we've been talking about it the whole year. You could see it. Every day someone in the 25-man roster will be stepping up and doing the job. And today J.T. came back again. It's been like that the whole year.
Q. Justin, this is why you came back here, and the fact that you guys are doing what you set out to do?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, we talked about it, like you said, sitting right here at this table. What this organization means to both of us, myself growing up in Southern California and Kenley being a Dodger his whole career and how badly we wanted to bring a championship back to L.A. You know, tonight's gotten us one step closer, but there's still a lot of work in front of us, and we're going to enjoy it for a little bit and get back to work and prepare for the next one.
Q. Given your track record for clutch hitting, what are you thinking as that inning's going on and you're in the dugout? Are you counting until your at-bat's coming up knowing you want to get to the plate there?
JUSTIN TURNER: I wanted to see T to finish it. I thought he was going to get the big hit. But that's the way our offense has been all year. It's been about putting together tough ABs and passing the baton and getting to the next guy, and tonight it was just my turn.

Q. As a guy who grew up a Dodgers fan, probably saw the replay of the Gibson home run 8 million times. What's it like to live that moment?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, I've told this story I don't know how many times since I've been a Dodger. One of my earliest baseball memories was being at my grandma's house and watching that game and watching Gibby hit that homer. Yeah, I can't even put into words right now. It's incredible. The most important thing was, obviously, helping us get another win. But that's something down the road, hopefully many, many years from now I'll get to tell stories about.
Q. Justin, when you hear Kenley refer back to the time in the barbershop, what do you remember, and what stuck with you most from the conversation you guys had then about the unfinished business and what you guys wanted to accomplish?
JUSTIN TURNER: I just want to clarify, I did get a haircut. I'm not sure if that's what you guys were all wondering (laughter). But, yeah, I had already been down in Curacao for a couple days. Spent a lot of time with Kenley. We actually didn't talk about baseball one time. It was just getting there, he was showing us around where he's from. He took us out on his boat, and it was really relaxing and a good time. Baseball didn't come up until that day in his room when we were getting our haircut, for whatever reason. It wasn't a sales pitch, because at the time I still didn't know what I was doing. I was not sure yet. We just talked about what it meant to be a Dodger and how good all the people are in this organization, how good they've treated us. Kenley's been here his whole career, but this is my fourth organization, and I just wanted to let him know how unbelievable this organization has been for me having experience in different places. Just to think about that, when it's going into his decision. Like I said, I told him on the dance floor, I said, hey, I'm coming back. And I don't think I talked to him again the rest of the night. Then early the next morning I got on a plane and flew over to Aruba, and I was sitting on the beach when it came up on Twitter. So I found out just like you guys. That was a good mai tai on the beach (laughter).
Q. When the ball left your bat, did you know it was gone? I'm sure it happened fast, but what are the emotions like in that moment?
JUSTIN TURNER: Well, I hit a ball pretty good to center earlier in the game, and Almora's an unbelievable center fielder. He's been taking hits away from us every time we play him. So I was just watching him hoping he wasn't going to catch it. When it did end up going over the fence, obviously I was fairly excited.
Q. Just to clarify, on the field, did you tell somebody that you're six runs away from shaving your beard?
JUSTIN TURNER: No. We're not worried about six. We're worried about winning one more the next chance we get.
Q. Kenley, the Dodgers have done what seems like a really good job pacing you and everybody in the bullpen this year. Has that kept you fresh, and is there any reason why you couldn't pitch in every game in the postseason given the off-days if they needed it?
KENLEY JANSEN: I mean, that was the plan. I mean, the good thing is, too, these guys have been doing a tremendous job in the 8th inning trying to mess me up to not pitch in the 9th. So they've helped a lot too. But we know that this moment's going to come, and we know that I'm going to throw multiple innings, so I was ready for it.
Q. Justin, you mentioned this is the fourth organization. With what's happened here, is all that stuff ancient history, or do you step back still and see how special it's been to come out here and get that fresh start a few years back?
JUSTIN TURNER: No, it's definitely been special. Obviously, in that moment, in that time, it was a tough situation for me. But I'm happy to be right where I'm at today and be a Dodger and get an opportunity to bring the first championship back here in a long time.
Q. Chris Taylor was talking about the mindset of being able to take low pitches or pitches that were around the knees and hit them in the air with impact and all the work you've done. Do you reflect on all those hours now when it really comes to fruition like it did tonight?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, you know, Chris and I talked a lot last year, but all the adjustments he made, he did them on his own this off-season. We do have some similarities in the way we go about it, and we have conversations talking about different approaches and different plans of how to put together a different plan for different guys. But for him to go out and already be a Major Leaguer and then do a complete swing reconstruction sounds crazy, but that's kind of what I did. So it's been unbelievable hitting behind him and watching him take off and really become an electrifying player for this organization and a tablesetter. The quality at-bats that he puts together are just like every other guy in the lineup. He's a tough out, and when he gets on the bases, he's a really good base runner. His first year as a center fielder, he's a darn good center fielder too.
Q. The fan who caught the ball is enjoying a bit of celebrity of his own right now. Did you get the ball?
JUSTIN TURNER: I did get the ball. I did get the ball. Yeah, I'm excited about that (smiling).
Q. We were here in this exact room ten months ago and you both talked about unfinished business. You guys have been two wins away from the World Series before. How do you guys, now heading back to Wrigley, tell these rookies on the team and some of the younger guys how to complete the job this time?
KENLEY JANSEN: Well, we just have that one mindset we carried the whole year, don't worry about either we have two wins away to get to the World Series. We're just going to come to the ballpark and expect a win that day. That's all we care about, is just go out there and put the pressure on the pitcher. And when we pitch out there and make pitches, that's all it is. We can't worry if we're two games -- anything can happen in this ballgame. I mean, the Cubs, give them credit, they're the defending champs. So they're going to be good. So we've got to come out there and do us and expect to win that day.
Q. You've played here your whole career. What is different about this team?
KENLEY JANSEN: What's different about this team? The thing is we all care about each other. It's not about that one guy or this. We all are here helping each other out and get better every day. That's the whole time it happened since the Spring Training, we've been doing that. That's all it is, I think. So compared to the other teams, we just have that mindset. We just try to win ballgames every day. Even though you're not going to win ballgames every day. That's how I feel about this team.
Q. What do you enjoy about playing in games like these and moments like these specifically?
JUSTIN TURNER: What's not to enjoy about it? We have an opportunity to bring a championship back to L.A. And like I said, it's been a long time. So every day we get to step out on the field and play this game that we all love and we've all put our entire lives into. It's something that I don't think any of us take for granted. You go out there and you prepare and you work as hard as you can, and you leave it all out there. At the end of the day, you hope you get a good result for it.