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Oct. 6 Clayton Kershaw workout day interview

October 6, 2016

Q. Just your thought on getting the nod in Game 1, obviously you're used to going up against other team's aces, but your thoughts about Scherzer, as well? CLAYTON KERSHAW: It's always fun to start off the series, it's always fun to get to pitch Game 1, obviously. It's an

Q. Just your thought on getting the nod in Game 1, obviously you're used to going up against other team's aces, but your thoughts about Scherzer, as well?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: It's always fun to start off the series, it's always fun to get to pitch Game 1, obviously. It's an honor. You know the team wants you out there, so that's a good feeling.

Yeah, pitching against Max, I don't think I've ever pitched against him before, but just watching him, talked to him over the years a little bit. Just a great competitor. He had an amazing year this year. You know, if not the frontrunner to win the Cy Young, definitely in the top two or three.

We know we've got our hands full, for sure, but should be hopefully a good game.

Q. How much pressure do you feel personally as the leader of the team in the post-season, as opposed to the regular season, to carry them through this?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, I think in the past I've definitely felt that pressure more. But this year's been a little bit different for me, just as far as having to watch on the sidelines for two months. Understanding how good our team is; you know, I think it's really kind of hit home for me a little bit as I've come back that I can definitely be a part of this and definitely help and definitely be a factor in winning. But I don't have to be the factor.

We have so many guys that can do so many different things that it's not all on me. You know, obviously I have a job to do and I understand that, but I can -- we're such a team that I feel like I can rely on those guys and, likewise, they can rely on me. It's just a different feeling than I've had in the past.

Q. Do you feel that not having a full workload on your arm for the entire season can be an advantage for you in the month of October?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: I think common sense probably says that. But you know, at the same time, I've never had any problems physically in October. In years past, I've always felt 100 percent. Arm's always felt good. Felt like the ball's coming out fine no matter how many innings are under my belt.

I don't really know if -- I don't think it's going to make that big of a difference. But, you know, I feel good now, so that's good.

Q. This sort of rubs up against that a little bit but a few weeks ago I asked you about being prepared for the post-season in terms of your pitches and your endurance and things like that versus just sort of surviving the day. How have you arrived here in terms of those little subtle things that make you who you are?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: That's a deep question (laughter).

I think it's a good question. Because at first when you're coming back from an injury, it's just while you're obviously competing out there, in the back of your head, you're like, am I going to hurt it again. I had that, for sure, the first couple times out there.

The last two or three starts, I've really -- I haven't thought about it. My work in between is as close to normal as it's going to be. So I really haven't thought about, you know, re-injuring or anything like that. I feel as close to 100 percent as anybody else is at this time of year right now.

Q. Are you the kind of guy, from start to start, who really examines the previous start before you move on? And if so, have you gone back and examined post-season starts in the past and evaluated them the same way?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: I don't really watch video of myself. Yeah, I don't really -- I never really have. You know, if Honey sees something mechanically or something he wants me to watch, he'll obviously show me.

Yeah, I'm kind of by that day. If we have a good day and we win, I'll celebrate and enjoy it. If I have a bad day and I lose, I'll be disappointed and then come back the next day and think about the next team.

Q. Can you speak to the meteoric rise that you've seen with Andrew Toles, a guy that was out of baseball essentially a year ago, and now he's starting behind you in left field?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Is he starting? That's awesome. Tolesy, he's great. Obviously very talented. You watch him throw and you watch him take batting practice, all that stuff. But for him to put the bat on the ball as consistently as he has, hard contact for this first month and a half that he's been up; I mean, to be honest, I didn't even know we had a guy named Andrew Toles in the Minor Leagues. To meet him and understand where he's been and come from and the type of guy that he is and the type of player that he is, it's pretty special to see, for sure.

Q. You've spoken about this before, but what was it that appealed to you about mixing in the lower arm angle, and how long did you have to work on that before you could roll it out in games?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, you know, Rich Hill was kind of the inspiration for that, I guess. I don't know, just looked kind of fun. I used to do that in high school. I used to pitch that way a little bit.

And so I gave it a shot in the bullpen a few times, and I threw it, I think, against the Rockies for the first time, a couple pitches. I mean, it's not like I'm going to be down there for 20, 30 pitches in a game, but just to have a different angle and maybe use it a handful of times, can't hurt.

Q. You mentioned Scherzer a little bit before, but as a fellow pitcher, what impresses you the most about him?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Just I think the competitor part is the big thing. He's a tremendous competitor. I mean, he always wants the ball. He's always fired up for big games.

And then the stuff, I think, is probably the second thing. His fastball is one of the best fastballs, if not the best fastball from a starter that you'll see. I think I'm not a big sabermetric guy, but the old spin rate thing, it probably plays true to him more than anything. He gets so many swings and misses on his fastball. I mean, every pitch, changeup, slider; he's throwing curveballs now.

It's not an easy at-bat. I've never faced him, but just watching guys swing, it's like you just can't square up that heater. So I don't expect for it to be a blowout tomorrow by any means.

Q. On your comeback trail since you've been the disabled list; and you've pitched in some big games, but how much of it felt like an amped up spring training?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: I tried not to think of it like that just because spring training doesn't matter, and we're still in September and we're still trying to win the division. I definitely wasn't thinking of it like that.

You know, looking back, I definitely wanted to, if I was going to be able to be in this position, I needed to have some starts under my belt. It ended up being that; you know, I was able to get four or five starts, three almost full-go.

And so it's as good a scenario for what ended up happening as we could have hoped for. You know, now, I'm ready to go for tomorrow.

Q. What about this team has it believing that things will be different than the last three post-seasons? What's different, feels different?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: I can't speak for everybody, but just kind of what I said earlier as far as what I see. You know, it's just I think at every time this year, we've had a different part of our team step up. You know, it was maybe the starters early, and then the offense started really coming together. And I guess our bullpen's really been pretty solid pretty much the whole year; kind of our backbone almost.

I guess the most complete -- the most complete team; maybe the most belief, as well, that we are complete, which is almost as important, probably.

Q. Everybody wants to make a big deal out of the post-season record, but what is it about the post-season that may be different from the regular season as far as you're concerned, as opposed to the body of work that you know that you put out there all the time?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Well, I think that's probably it, is just the body of work. You know, you've got, I don't know how many starts I've had in the regular season, but hundreds, and you don't have that opportunity in the post-season. So you've got to make it count, and the bad ones stand out more, for sure.