Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

NLCS Game 5: Turner, Taylor interview

October 20, 2017

Q. Obviously the strength of your lineup this year has been its depth. Can you guys speak to what it means to be co-MVPs?JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, it's incredible. What C.T. has done for our lineup all year long, settling into the leadoff spot, getting on base, the base runner that

Q. Obviously the strength of your lineup this year has been its depth. Can you guys speak to what it means to be co-MVPs?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, it's incredible. What C.T. has done for our lineup all year long, settling into the leadoff spot, getting on base, the base runner that he is, you know, hitting balls over the fence. He's a dynamic player and a table setter. When he goes, we usually go as a team. I think you guys saw that here in the postseason.
:: World Series schedule and coverage ::
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, I think everybody could have predicted it was going to be co-MVPs. If you could have given it to more than two guys, I'm sure we would have. All year long it's been a different guy every night, and total team effort all the way around.
Q. Justin, being from Southern California and knowing the stories of the Dodgers being young and the last time the Dodgers went, what's it mean to see the happy faces on your way up here and your family knowing the World Series is coming back to your hometown?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, it's incredible. Kenley and I talked about it in our press conference when we signed back here. We talked about unfinished business and wanting to bring a World Series back to Los Angeles. We had a bad taste in our mouth the last four years, you know, not finishing what we started.
I think there's a lot of very proud guys in that room over there. It's nice to be able to walk up and share it with all our family and loved ones. We're going to enjoy it tonight, and then we'll take this flight back to L.A. and get back to work.
Q. With the way this game unfolded tonight, how hard was it in the dugout to stay focused on where you were and not look too far ahead when that game is developing like it is?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, just sticking with the same approach we've had all series, or all of the playoffs, you know? Not worrying about the results or the distractions. Just kind of playing good Dodger baseball. What we've been doing. Staying within ourselves, not trying to do too much.
That's pretty much what we've done from Game 1. You know, just controlling the zone and playing good baseball, like I said earlier.

Q. Chris, could you think for a moment about what you probably would have been doing on October 19th of last year, and how your work last October got you to this opportunity here tonight?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, pretty remarkable to think about where I was at this time last year. Last year I got sent to Arizona for Stay Hot and then sent home before the NLCS. It's crazy how things -- how fast things can change in this game in both directions.
I couldn't be happier to be a part of this and be with these guys. It's been an unbelievable year, and I'm just super excited.
Q. You could probably relate to a lot of things that have gone on in Justin's career. How much did having him there by you help in your progression this season?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, J.T.'s been huge all year and even last year. I talked to him as much as I can, and, you know, he's one of the reasons I decided to make the changes I did. Guys that have gone out on a ledge and made big changes and had success with it, I saw those guys and the success they had, and that's kind of what encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone and kind of take a leap of faith, or whatever you want to call it. Just make those changes. Just the support he's given me and talking to him about hitting, it's been huge.
Q. If you look ahead to how a kind of pennant-clinching game might unfold, you know if Clayton Kershaw -- if you're told Clayton Kershaw comes out, has a great outing, not surprising. If you're told Kike Hernandez hits three home runs, that's kind of surprising. But what do those two things say about how this team has done things all year?
JUSTIN TURNER: We've already talked about it. It's a different guy every single night. Literally, a different guy in the lineup is making that big swing.
As far as our pitching staff goes, anytime 22 is on the hill, we have a good feeling. This year has been even more special because it's not just about 22, it's Rich Hill and Yu Darvish and Alex Wood, and you start naming all these guys in our bullpen who, man, we can talk for hours about how good they were in this series.
Just an incredible group of guys that are all in and all together. There's no griping or moaning about who is getting to do what or who is not going to do this. It's about 25 guys trying to figure out how to win a ballgame every single day. The commitment to that and the buy-in to that is one of the most special things I've ever been a part of.
Q. For either of you guys, you guys know the randomness of October sometimes. The team with the best record doesn't necessarily advance. So how satisfying is it to have turned the best regular season record into an advantage now in the World Series with the home field?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Oh, yeah, it's huge. We understand the advantage of playing at home, in front of our fans, how big they've been for us. You know, you can talk about our record at home and the energy they bring, all the scenarios. That's where we want to be -- at home, in front of our crowd, in the World Series. We're right where we wanted to be since the start of the year.
JUSTIN TURNER: On top of that, we're paying attention to what's happening in the other division and seeing how well those teams play at home. It's definitely a big deal, I think.
Q. Justin, you see the path Chris has taken to get where he is today. How much of yourself do you maybe see in that in kind of the way you kind of turned around a career and created something pretty impressive out of it?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, it's really been fun to watch. We had some conversations last year towards the end of the year about some different things, and C.T. took it upon himself this off-season to go and, you know, make all these adjustments that he wanted to make. He came into Spring Training, obviously, with a completely different swing. You know, he's driving balls all over the place.
Before he made the swing adjustment, he was a really good hitter. He controlled the strike zone, he swung at good pitches. Now with the adjustments he's made, he's turned himself into a dangerous hitter. To have him at the top of our lineup is an extreme luxury for this club.
Q. What were you guys saying or thinking or feeling when Kike goes yard the third time? I mean, it's such rare company in the postseason.
CHRIS TAYLOR: Oh, yeah. Just Kike has been unbelievable all year. For him to have that night on that stage, just an unbelievable moment for him. I'm so happy for him and excited for him. He steps up in the big moment.
Q. For both of you, what makes Dave Roberts a great manager for this team and obviously now you go to the World Series?
JUSTIN TURNER: You could have came down in the clubhouse and asked all these questions. You didn't want to get your suit wet?
Just the energy he brings to the field every single day. It's a genuine energy and passion and caring for every single guy in that room. It's not a fake thing. It's real. I mean, he literally takes it upon himself and he makes a point of trying to go and talk to every single guy every single day and ask: How you doing? How your family's doing?
We trust him. We believe in him. He preaches positivity and keep going and toughness, mental toughness.
When we talk about buying in, that's what he talked about on day one of Spring Training. You're either in or you're out. We've got a lot of guys that are all in right now.
Q. Justin, you've been with Clayton for several years now. Everybody in baseball sort of acknowledges he's the best pitcher. From seeing him every day, what is the most impressive thing to you and how happy are you for him that he's getting this chance on this stage now?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, I mean, it's easy to say that the most impressive thing is when he takes the ball every fifth day. But for me, the more impressive thing is watching him go about his business on those other days, the four other days, and the work that he puts in and the routine and the tireless effort and training and amount of stuff that goes into his day, each and every day, to lead up to that start, is something that I've never seen out of anyone in my entire life.
It's incredible. No one, no one that I've ever met works harder behind the scenes than Clayton does.