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Oct. 6 Clayton Kershaw postgame interview

MLB.com

Q. You guys jumped out to a quick lead there in the first inning. Your feeling after that three-run home run by JT and how important was that to set the tone?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, I mean, you couldn't ask for a better start to the game. I think we really had quality at-bats the whole night all the way through. All the guys really just been doing what they do all year. JT is as clutch as they come and put a great swing on a ball. Once you get three runs early, you just try to make that hold up as a starter.

Q. You guys jumped out to a quick lead there in the first inning. Your feeling after that three-run home run by JT and how important was that to set the tone?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, I mean, you couldn't ask for a better start to the game. I think we really had quality at-bats the whole night all the way through. All the guys really just been doing what they do all year. JT is as clutch as they come and put a great swing on a ball. Once you get three runs early, you just try to make that hold up as a starter.

Q. Story for the obvious question, how is your back?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: How is my what?

Q. How is your back injury?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Good, good, thank you.

Q. In terms of your approach being on the hill and executing physically, any impairment, is that all in the rear view mirror?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah.

Video: ARI@LAD Gm1: Kershaw on Dodgers' run support

Q. You seemed to rely on the fastball pretty heavily early. Did you have a hard time finding the slider, curveball today? Was there no consistency to it or what?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: No, I thought it was okay early. I thought it was pretty good, actually. Those last couple innings were the rough ones.

Q. With the big lead in the seventh inning there, are you pitching a little differently at all?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: No. Just I felt fine. It just wasn't coming out as good as I would have liked it to that last inning. So they hit some good pitches. Not really. I just didn't have much left, I don't know. Hopefully when you give up hits, maybe one or two would stay in the ballpark. But tonight it didn't seem like that was going to happen.

Obviously, a frustrating way to end it, but thankfully we had a big lead.

Q. How do you prepare now going forward? Do you expect to pitch for a potential Game 5? And what do you do with the uncertainty you've had in the past?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I mean, right now, my preparation is for a potential Game 5 or hopefully Game 1 of the next series. So that's my mindset right now. And until something changes, that's what I'm going with.

Q. You've seen so many spectacular performances, not just in the postseason, what is it that makes him so elite when it comes to these games with Justin?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: There's just not a weakness when he hits. That's probably the biggest thing. Just looking at him from a pitcher standpoint, I don't really know where you can throw a fastball in the strike zone to get him out. Then he stays on breaking balls so much and then coupled that with not leaving the zone hardly, I mean, it's a very tough at-bat for your pitcher. You know, it almost amplifies in the playoffs. He just seems to get that much more locked in.

Q. What were you kind of thinking in the dugout's reaction when Puig slid into third and looked at you guys and did the tongue wagging?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I was thinking that's about right. Yasi's an exciting player, and it's pretty special when he gets focused and locked in. And tonight meant a lot to him. He was focused and locked in, and that's the type of player he can be.

Q. Why do you think he's licked his bat?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: He's done that all season. I never asked him. I don't know. Doesn't seem like the most sanitary thing to do, but if he keeps getting them hits, I hope he does it more.

Q. You said toward the end that you were pretty much out of steam. Was it high-leverage pitches, playoff game, was it one of those nights? Was it the time you missed the summer, are you fully back from that? I'm just wondering about you being out? You threw 100 pitches, I think?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't know if I can answer all those questions. But, yeah, definitely the intensity of playoff games, there is more riding on each pitch. Mentally, for sure, you try to focus that much harder every single pitch and just let the moment try to take over that moment every single time. Yeah, that can be taxing, for sure. Thankfully we had some long innings there, scoring a lot of runs. There are a lot of factors. No excuses, I gave up too many home runs tonight. Maybe some of that played a factor. I don't know.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.