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NLCS Game 5: Kershaw postgame interview

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Q. Clayton, congratulations. What's it mean to be able to share this night with your family?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Well, I mean, this whole night in general has been -- I mean, when you're a kid, you just hope you make it to the Big Leagues. So to get to go say you're going to go play in the World Series, it's an incredibly special moment. Up there with getting married and having kids, it's right up there with one of the best days of my life.

Q. Clayton, congratulations. What's it mean to be able to share this night with your family?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Well, I mean, this whole night in general has been -- I mean, when you're a kid, you just hope you make it to the Big Leagues. So to get to go say you're going to go play in the World Series, it's an incredibly special moment. Up there with getting married and having kids, it's right up there with one of the best days of my life.

:: World Series schedule and coverage ::

You know, we know we have four more wins to go, obviously. But we've heard 1988 for so long in L.A., it feels good to say that we're getting to go to the World Series in 2017, and with four more wins, hopefully get to get one home.

Q. You must have imagined this night for so many postseasons. What does it -- how does this compare to what you expected it to feel like?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: It's an incredible feeling. I think more than anything, just the group of guys that we get to do it with this time. Every year it's been a fun year for guys. But there's something about this year. Just, for example, Kike tonight, he told me: Hey, I've got your back tonight. He said that before I even went out there. Then he goes and hits three home runs.

It just seems like every single night there is a different guy that's contributing. That's the measure of a great team. From the bullpen being unbelievable, to guys that are role players being unbelievable, it's just been -- then the superstars being superstars, like J.T. and Belly and Chris Taylor, C.T., they're all superstars in my book. So, it's just been -- I'm just really thankful I get to be on this team.

Q. You kind of just touched on it, but how fitting is it after how much the team has asked of you over the years that on a night where you come out in a big game and do your job, the lineup puts up 11 runs, a guy like Kike hits three homers? How fitting is it for the way this team has done things?

Video: NLCS Gm5: Kershaw on advancing to the World Series

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, it really is a testament to this team and what we stand for. It's just next-man-up mentality. As a starting pitcher, when you get seven runs, your job is to get them back in the dugout as fast as possible.

Fortunately for me tonight, I was able to do that for the most part. But it really is a special group of guys. It's tough to explain, but I'm just thankful to be a part of it right now.

Q. So many of your teammates when you ask them what they admire about you, they talk about the work ethic. Like Justin was saying he's never seen anybody like that. With what you had to go through with July and August with the back, how much even harder do you have to work to be the pitcher you want to be right now?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, I don't know how to answer that other than to have those guys' respect and have those guys -- just to play for those guys and have those guys say that about me, to have the respect of those guys, for them to want me to be out there, I think they're as happy for me tonight as they are for themselves, and that's a testament to those guys once again. It's just -- I don't know how to explain it other than I'm just thankful to be a part of it.

Q. To have delivered one of the best performances of your postseason career on this night in this circumstance, what's it mean to you?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't know about all that, but to get to be on the mound tonight and get to be going to the World Series on the same night, it's a special thing. Who knows how many times I'm going to get to go to the World Series. I know more than anybody how hard it is to get there. So, I'm definitely not taking this one for granted.

Q. Dave Roberts says you're going to pitch Game 1?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: That means I'm working out tomorrow, so I'll see you guys at Dodger Stadium.

I'm very excited about it. We'll watch that game tomorrow, and hopefully they go seven games and play 37 innings on the 7th game, and same thing as this past series with the Cubs and Nationals. That's why we have the best record. We get to open up at Dodger Stadium, get to be home. Don't have to worry about the DH. It's great. I'm excited about it.

Q. What was the first World Series you remember watching as a kid, and how closely did you watch it when October came around?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: That's a good question. I guess my first like real memory is probably the Yankees in the late '90s, early 2000, winning those whatever it was in a row. Maybe three in a row or something like that, yeah. I remember that pretty well. I remember when the Diamondbacks won 2001.

So I guess the point is that I remember. You remember watching. You remember who went to the World Series. Unless you're a real baseball fan, you remember who loses, so we need to win.

Q. To follow-up on that, you've done everything in your career, and now if you had never gotten to this stage, would you have always felt that something was missing?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: You know, that's a tough question. I think at the end of the day, yeah. Winning the World Series is really all that we play this game for. All the individual stuff is great, but at the end of the day I just want to win a World Series. If we win, I might retire, so I might just call it a career. It's a special thing, and I know that I'm not taking that for granted.

Q. I'm just wondering, how hard was it to stay patient here in your 10th season, three Cy Youngs, an MVP, but every October you'd watch the World Series on television, or would you? How hard was it?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't think patient is the right word because, first of all, to be a part of an organization like this that gets to go to the postseason five times in a row and seven out of my -- I don't even know how many seasons, ten seasons, I guess, that doesn't happen very often. You know, so patience isn't the right word, but I guess I'm just thankful that I've gotten to have this many opportunities to get here.

That's a testament to this organization. That's a testament to Mark Walter, Andrew Freeman, Farhan, all the way down to Doc. It's just been a thankful part of the organization. That's probably the end of the interview, because Charlie's ready to go.