Q. What do you remember most about your two starts in the NLCS against the Cubs last year, and what have you learned from them?CLAYTON KERSHAW: One was good; one was bad. Yeah, I mean, they have a very similar team to what they did last year. I think other
Q. What do you remember most about your two starts in the NLCS against the Cubs last year, and what have you learned from them?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: One was good; one was bad. Yeah, I mean, they have a very similar team to what they did last year. I think other than Fowler, they have everybody they had from last year back.
So great team. Lot of familiarities with both of us. There are not going to be any secrets. And just try to make less mistakes than I did in Game 6, I guess.
Q. You're in a much different position this year than you were last season in the postseason. You haven't pitched in a week. What have you done between to stay sharp to be ready for tomorrow?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, I just threw an extra bullpen. Yeah, it's a different position for us. We haven't really -- in years past, it's been Game 5s and a lot of travel and not having home field. So it's definitely a different spot for us.
It was kind of fun yesterday watching them duke it out while we were kind of sitting around. It was great.
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. The Cubs are here now, and I'm sure -- I know they had some travel stuff yesterday. That was rough. But I have a feeling they're going to be ready to go.
As far as being overworked, underworked, I don't think anybody's at a perfect spot during the postseason, so I'll be ready to go tomorrow.
Q. Is there a specific way that you plan on trying to capitalize on their fatigue?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, I don't know how you do that in baseball. In football, you can run faster, you can do plays faster. Basketball you can run up and down the court. I don't know what you do in baseball. Try to play faster? I don't know what you do. I really don't know what you do (laughter).
I think they have a very tough ballclub. They grind out games. They grind out at-bats. They've got a lot of good pitchers over there. So fatigue or not, I think they'll be all right.
Video: NLCS Gm1: Kershaw on getting ready to face Cubs
Q. Back in August when you guys were really peaking, Joe Maddon said he liked the way his team matched up with your team a lot. I'm wondering if that resonated as bulletin board material significantly or at all.
CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, not really. I didn't read about it or hear it, but I don't know what that means, I don't know how teams match up. I don't know the specifics of all of that. So that's great he thinks that. That's awesome. I'm sure they need to think that, so that's great.
Q. Who in the Cubs' lineup, if anybody, gets your attention? Is there anybody in particular that gives you a hard time?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't know numbers-wise. William Fowler did. I know he's gone now, so that's good. But, yeah, they've got a lot of great at-bats. I think probably the whole lineup has hit at least one homer off me in the past.
But as far as specifics, you've got to start with the middle of the lineup with Rizzo and Bryant. Those guys are two of the best hitters in the game. So it's try to do your best with those guys and make sure no one's on base when they're up, for sure.
Q. When you've been in those situations like you were last year and like they are this year, when you're kind of running on fumes and you've been traveling and you go right into another series, how much does adrenaline take over? How long does it last?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, usually in the travel situations or the lack of sleep or things like that, it's usually not the first day it hits you. It's like the next couple days after that. So I'm sure they're going to be feeling it maybe today and maybe even tomorrow a little bit. But adrenaline can carry over almost through that off-day at times.
It was a weird situation for them last night. I've never been a part of that. We've always had an off-day and never had to travel cross-country like that.
So I don't really know exactly how it will affect them, but we can't think about that. We're well rested and ready to go, but that doesn't mean we're going to win the game. We've got to go play.
Q. Are you at all pleased or glad that you're seeing the Cubs now again because of last season and because they're the champs?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, I mean, not really. I think we want to win this series. We want to go to the World Series. We didn't get to do that last year, and the Cubs were the reason why. No doubt about it, we know that. But if the Nationals won this, I'd be saying the same thing. I don't hold grudges, it's not billboard material for me or bulletin board material that we've got to get revenge on the Cubs.
But they were the best team last year, and until somebody beats them, they're the best team. So we've got to go get them.
Q. Along those lines, not from a grudge-holding perspective, but last year's NLCS against the Cubs, what can be learned going forward from then until now as you go into this series, either on the field -- I know, again, no bulletin board material -- but in the end when the Cubs won and the city's going nuts, and I know your bus was delayed trying to get out of Wrigley Field. In all of that swirl, what do you take from that and what could be applied this year?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, try to walk a few blocks and get an Uber if we lose again. That's probably the best situation (laughter).
But, yeah, I mean, I don't really remember the specifics of each game or anything like that. Like I said before, I pitched one good game against them and one bad game against them, and I'm going to re-watch both and try to understand what I did well and what I didn't do well and try to execute.
Q. You had that situation last year where you pitched four times in ten days. Came in in relief and got the split in the first two games. People have talked about the foibles that have happened for you in October. Did that kind of put that behind you? Did you find something out about yourself, how you dealt with that challenge that made you a different pitcher this year?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, people talk about all the postseason failures that I've had a lot, and I understand that. I don't really look at it like that, though, which is I guess a good thing for me. But I think I look at the times -- I've had success at times, too, and I try to marinate on those, like you said. It just so happens a lot of the years we've lost I've been pitching that night, so I'm going to try not to do that this year.
Q. Just to clarify, you're going to re-watch those two starts before tomorrow's outing?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Well, I'm not going to do it after (laughter).
Q. What specific things are you looking for in those games?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Just trying to see sequencing, how -- just re-watching the games, doing the things that -- just normal, the before-start stuff that I always do.