Dodgers News: For Clayton Kershaw, Reaching World Series Is Particularly Satisfying
Wally Skalij-Los Angeles Times

Clayton Kershaw was only seven months old the last time the Los Angeles Dodgers had reached the World Series. On Thursday, Kershaw helped pitch the team back into the Fall Classic with a performance that once and for all may have vanquished his postseason demons.

During a postgame interview that aired on TBS, Kershaw told Sam Ryan he never thought he’d pitch in the World Series “in a million years.” The furthest Kershaw had been prior to this point was Game 6 of the National League Championship Series in 2013 and 2016.

Last year’s elimination loss came at the hands of the Chicago Cubs at the same Wrigley Field the Dodgers danced around following Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. “To get to go say you’re going to go play in the World Series, it’s an incredibly special moment,” Kershaw said.

“Up there with getting married and having kids, it’s right up there with one of the best days of my life.”

Kershaw has openly stated he’s expected the Dodgers to reach the World Series in each of their previous four trips to the postseason. While the same held true for 2017, this season’s Dodgers played with and exuded a distinguished confidence, bond and aura.

Men's Los Angeles Dodgers New Era Gray 2017 National League Champions Replica 9TWENTY Adjustable Hat
Men’s Los Angeles Dodgers New Era Gray 2017 National League Champions 9TWENTY Adjustable Hat

“Every year it’s been a fun year for guys. But there’s something about this year,” Kershaw said. “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. From the bullpen being unbelievable, to guys that are role players being unbelievable, then the superstars being superstars, like J.T. and Belly and C.T., they’re all superstars in my book. I’m just really thankful I get to be on this team.”

For as much as the Dodgers reveled in winning the franchise’s 22nd NL pennant, there was an emphasis and focus placed on the larger goal that still looms. Such was also the case after the Dodgers clinched the NL West and swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL Division Series.

“We know we have four more wins to go, obviously,” Kershaw said. “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.”

Winning the World Series would not only quench a city’s thirst, it may coax this generation’s best pitcher into early retirement.

“If we win, I might retire, so I might just call it a career,” Kershaw quipped. “It’s a special thing, and I know that I’m not taking that for granted.”