ATL@LAD Gm4: Mattingly discusses advancing to NLCS

Q. Can you just perhaps describe, I realize you're not at the destination you're shooting for, but just the sense of accomplishment at this moment with what you're able to do with these guys? 

DON MATTINGLY: Well, obviously a great feeling from our standpoint. Just so proud of those guys in that room that have just kind of stayed together, kept working, really proud of the staff and really during a lot of the time this year continued to work and continued to stay after it, and kind of stayed the course. 

I feel like they've done a great job. I feel like it's another step. I think getting in is the first thing, when you talk about 11 and now we have to talk about 8. We've moved one step closer, and we don't have to get back on a plane tomorrow. It's a good feeling.

Q.   When the ball jump jumped off once back there, what was the first thing that went through your mind? 

DON MATTINGLY: Why am I bunting him? That's what I was thinking at first, why am I bunting him? But really I am thinking about shooting the ball to the right side, putting bat ball in play, driver a runner over, and next thing you know, as soon as he hit it, I knew it was gone. So instant kind of craziness. I'm thinking playoffs are so stupid, aren't they? Just crazy. That's what I'm thinking about.

Q.   How important was Yasiel Puig with his energy opening the 8th inning with that double running fast to second base? Also, can you make an assessment on the way Juan Uribe came to the team or what he went through during the season just to come to this great moment for him? 

DON MATTINGLY:  Okay, so Puig, and obviously that was a huge hit. You talk about getting him on and the fact that he hits a double there really puts us in harms way right away and kind of gets us where any hit or getting him to move over puts a lot of pressure on them. 

So that was just huge from that standpoint and getting the crowd going a little bit and giving us a shot. Then Juan's just been ‑‑ I talked about it a lot during the course of the season because he's been doing so well. But just the kind of teammate he was last year when Luis Cruz was doing really well. 

Juan just gained so much respect down in that clubhouse for the way he treated him and how he reacted to everything. We talked about it at the last meeting we had at the end of the year last year. Just wanted to thank him for that. It's been great for him to be able to do this because those guys love him out there. He's just a great teammate, and it's good to see.

Q.   Would you assess Kershaw and maybe describe some of the process during the game of keeping an eye on him just in terms of talking to him or just being a little more aware of where he was in the game? 

DON MATTINGLY:  He was great all day. His stuff was good. His stuff was sharp. I asked A.J. what inning it was. I'm like, what do you think? And he goes, it's right there. You know, really, we take him out there. If we don't know it's three days rest, we don't take him out there because A.J.'s like he's good. And he's not ‑‑ he goes, if I didn't know it was three days, it's the same stuff. 

So he didn't miss a beat. Really he didn't really give up anything. We don't help him there, and I think it's at the fourth. Then in the process, just keep an eye on his stuff. Keep an eye on him. At some point we talked about it before the game, we were just going to have to make the decision and not allow him to go too far because he was not going to come out of that game if you asked him. 

So we talked about it, we thought about it, and it was just we've got to pull the trigger on this. We can't allow him to go any farther, he did his job.

Q.   What did you learn about Clayton tonight? Is that what you expected? 

DON MATTINGLY: I really did. I thought he was going to go out and deal tonight. He pretty much was right what we asked. He was great. You've seen some of the things I told you about before the game. I hope he gets a chance to talk to you about it. But he's just a different cat. 

I'm sure there have been guys out there like him through the years, but there are not very many. It's really ‑‑ he's a joy to have as a player. I've known him. It's funny. I've been hearing his name since he started the very first time because him and my son roomed together. We've known that name from the very beginning.

So it's really cool to watch this process what he's going through and how much he just continues to work and move forward. This kid was like ‑‑ when last night it's funny. Trey was telling me, after he walks out of our office last night knowing he's going to pitch today. Trey said he was like a kid on Halloween that stole the biggest bag of candy you could ever see. This guy was so excited to be pitching today, and that's just special. In fact, Sandy's here today to see him. I thought that was great. This kid is just a tremendous. He's tremendous.

Q.   On the sacrifice with Uribe, first of all, hindsight is 20/20. How tough was the decision, first of all? Do you think maybe after he missed the first two bunt opportunities that maybe it loosened him up a little bit, just wants to get the ball in play? 

DON MATTINGLY:  I have no idea. When you're up there like that you're like I already screwed this up. Just want to do something and put it in play. But that was huge. We've been talking about Juan. It seems he always gets a big hit in the playoffs. He's gotten, obviously, homers, last night and homers tonight. Made some great plays early on too. So we don't talk about that much, but made some great plays.

Q.   The bullpen struggled in the 7th inning in Game 2. Was there any hesitation pulling Clayton after six as opposed to asking him to go one more inning tonight, just because that equation has been a little bit of a struggle? 

DON MATTINGLY:  Yeah, it's been that inning for us and that section of guys there. Tried it both ways and it hasn't worked either way. Try to leave the righty for the kid. I thought that kid, I've seen him before, I've seen him on tape. I knew he could hit. So that's been the inning. 

But it really wasn't ‑‑ obviously, I'd like to leave Clayton out there, but it just didn't feel like the right thing. It felt like he did his job, and he would not say no. Again, that's what we talked about before the game that we were just going to have to make that decision and not allow him to be a part of that. 

What he would do. It wasn't an easy decision, but it was one that we felt like we had to do.

Q.   If you make a decision like that, it's a bold decision. It could have blown up in your face. What is the feeling now with what he did for your guys? 

DON MATTINGLY:  It's a good feeling you end up winning because you don't have to answer all those questions. But honestly, it's what you do. You've got to do the right thing for Clayton. You've got to do the best thing for your ballclub. You try to put the guy, you know, throws the dog the ball last night, you want a guy that's going to keep the ball on the ground. It was just the decisions you make. You try to put the guys in the right position and sometime it's works, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it doesn't and then it still works. So that's what happened tonight.

Q.   You said you knew you'd have to make the decision with Clayton hard because he'd fight you to stay, zoned of sixth inning, you pull him, what is his reaction in the dugout? 

DON MATTINGLY:  His reaction is not bad. He's basically, I think he knows what he's doing for us. It's not a fight. He's going to live with that decision. It wasn't bad. I knew he would have went back out. Like I said the other day, he's got 120, he would have gone 140 the other day and he wouldn't have even thought about it. He was feeling good. I know he felt good today, and A.J. said it was coming out good, but I just couldn't do it.

Q.   Can you talk about Brian Wilson and the lift he's brought the team and how all these other teams passed on him? 

DON MATTINGLY:  Well, obviously, I'm glad we have him and we didn't because he's helped us shorten the game, and we're seeing ‑‑ we're having trouble getting through that seventh and mixing and matching and what we were able to do all year long as the season goes. It gets harder and harder to do because you're using so many guys in that situation to be able to go back and forth. 

Wilson allows us to give that inning to him and not have to go left right. You feel like he's going to get lefties and righties out. He's showing his velocity keeps creeping. We've found out that this guy doesn't throw the ball over the middle of the plate very often. He's got weapons for righties and lefties, he throws the ball where he wants. He's been tremendous for us.

Q.   What the team will do the next couple days? 

DON MATTINGLY: What are we going to do? 

Q.   Yeah. 

DON MATTINGLY:  I have no clue right now. I know we're not packing, and we'll probably give these guys a day off tomorrow. I don't know, those guys have an off day tomorrow. Whoever is playing in it, we'll have to play. So we'll talk about it here in a minute. 

But the guys will be off tomorrow. I don't know if we'll have meetings or not. It's hard to have meetings because we don't know who we're going to play. So we'll give these guys a break, they don't have to pack, and we'll go from there. 

Real quick. I didn't get a chance to say it, and I don't know if this matters. But I'd really like to congratulate those guys in Atlanta. Fredi is a class act. I played for Carlos Tosca in rookie ball. I know these guys are quality people on the other side. They have great young players and they've had a great year. Just want to congratulate them. Thanks. 

Oct. 7 Juan Uribe postgame interview

ATL@LAD Gm4: Kershaw on relationship with Uribe

Q.   Donnie was just in here talking about your at‑bat in the 8th inning and after the two bunts he was asked what do you expect of you, and he was thinking I've already screwed this thing up, what am I going to do now? Can you walk us through that at‑bat, the bunt attempts and then getting the slider? 

JUAN URIBE: You know, when they gave me the bunt sign, I'm thinking this is a good time to have a bunt, and I had to bunt I and I had to try. I'm thinking, hey, I need to do this thing and move the run. 

So the one thing is the pitcher they can't beat me. They can't beat me and I need to do my job. Try to move the runner and they gave me a hanging breaking ball, see the ball, and hit it.

Q.   Can you just take us through that feeling right after you hit it? You obviously knew. Can you take us through that feeling? 

JUAN URIBE:  You know, I feel like just to wait for my teammates in this moment I'll never forget. This moment today I'll never forget. You know, I see a lot of people are watching this game, and I feel great. I feel good for myself. I feel good for my teammates. We wanted the win today.

Q.   You clearly have a flair for the dramatic. You thrive on these moments. Don talks about it a lot. What is it about Postseason baseball that get us fired up? 

JUAN URIBE:  You know, for me I never like it. A lot of people told me you have a couple times Postseason, but I don't think like that. For me, this game and the Postseason game, I try to do the same thing. I don't try to do too much. I try to play this like the same game like before. I think this will happen, and have a good time in the playoffs.

Q.   What were you thinking as you rounded the bases for your home run? 

JUAN URIBE: Oh, you know everybody said I'm going to hit that ball? It was a good moment, it was a good moment for me. Good moment, too, for doing my job. I know how I can hit the ball, and I can win the game. I don't think it's only me. I think it's all 25 guys doing a good job today like Crawford. To catch up three day, like today would be a day off. Like sixth inning, like doing a good job.

Q.   When you missed the first two bunt attempts, does it maybe relax you a little bit that I've just got to put the ball in play? 

JUAN URIBE:  I tried to like ‑‑ I don't think I pull the ball. I tried to go right field, and I think that's why I've got time to see the breaking ball. You know, I tried to go right field to get the run. I'm thinking that's why they helped me so I can see the breaking ball better.

Q.   Would you say this is the best moment of your career especially after having a tough last season and now coming through in this big time moment? 

JUAN URIBE: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. This moment today ‑‑ this is what I tell my teammates. A lot of people want to be in the moment that we have right now. And this moment we'll never forget. Today, what we did today I'll never forget this moment. I think a lot of people feel like that. 

Oct. 7 Clayton Kershaw postgame interview

ATL@LAD Gm4: Kershaw on celebrating with teammates

Q.   Clayton, Don talked about how much you wanted to do this tonight and wanted to know what types of alterations you had to make over the last few days in your routine and just how much you wanted to do this under different circumstances? 

CLAYTON KERSHAW:  I don't want to get into specifics about anything, but I think just the thing I want to reiterate is this is the Postseason. I don't want to take it for granted. I might never get to do this again. 

So if Donnie wanted me to pitch tomorrow, I would. This is the Postseason. All that other preparation, is he going to be ready, is your arm going to be tired? Throw that out the window. It doesn't matter. You just go. It's a one‑month sprint and I'm looking forward to the next couple games.

Q.   I don't want to make too much of this. Did you feel any different because of the one‑day shortened rest? 

CLAYTON KERSHAW: It's tough to say. I don't know. I mean, I think maybe, but once the game started, no. So all that other stuff leading up to it is probably a little different because it's obviously a different routine. Once the game started, it felt the same.

Q.   How did the arm feel as the game went on and the pitches started getting more and more? Did you want to stay in the game? 

CLAYTON KERSHAW:  Yeah. I mean, I don't want to beat a dead horse, but you don't ever want to come out of a game. You don't ever want to not pitch. Ultimately it's not my decision, but I'm never going to say I'm not ready. That's just not what you do.

Q.   Don said he had talked to you about this or you had all talked about this before the season ever ended. Can you tell us how that ‑‑

CLAYTON KERSHAW:  I don't want to. No, I can't. I'm good.

Q.   When you guys clinched the division in Arizona, how would you compare the celebration and the joy you guys felt then compared to what you're going through now? 

CLAYTON KERSHAW:  Yeah, I think it's more of the same. People make a big deal about celebrations and what's appropriate and what's not. But just talking with some veteran guys, I think anytime you get a chance to celebrate with your team, regardless if it's winning the division or winning a series, whatever it is, you take advantage of that. There's a handful of guys that have never gotten to do that before. 

So it's such a special thing. I guess comparing it to Arizona we get to do it in front of our home fans and they stuck around. They want it just as much as we do. It was a special night to get to do it here in LA. Hopefully we can do a couple more two more times.

Q.   Can you share just how special of a story Juan Uribe is especially from where he came from last year and the year before till now?

CLAYTON KERSHAW:  Regardless what Juan did the past two years, Juan has been, I think consensus, he's probably been the most liked teammate we have. He's an incredible guy. He's always the same no matter what. You couldn't tell if he's 1 for 30 or 30 for 30. The way he plays, I just couldn't be happier for him. I love him to death. He's just ‑‑ it just feel goods for him to do that.

Q.   We saw you celebrating with the fans after the game around the park. Can you describe the emotions and the connection that you players have with the fans in Los Angeles? 

CLAYTON KERSHAW: I think it goes back to that earlier. You just never know when you're going to get to do it again. The fans are a part of this tonight. They were loud. They were there the whole night. They stuck around after the game. Yeah, we haven't won anything yet, but it definitely feels good to get to celebrate. You never want to pass those moments up. It was a special night.

Q.   I know it's a team game, but can you talk about your feelings after you leave the game, it's tied, and then Atlanta takes the lead and just your emotions through that and with Uribe, his home run? 

CLAYTON KERSHAW:  Yeah, that's baseball. I think the Braves did a great job. I tip my cap to that team. I have a ton of respect for that team. They play the game the right way, and there are so many guys over there that I just have a tremendous amount of respect for. They're going to make a run at it. They were not going to go down easy. They fought us the whole way through and it came down to one basically.

Q.   You're one of the few guys left from the teams that went to the playoffs in, was it '08,'09?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah.

Q.   The intervening years, what sort of appreciation do you think of just the change in ownership and just the expectations and what's possible? Does that mean more to you? 

CLAYTON KERSHAW:  No, I don't really care about expectations. I don't care about all that stuff. The playoffs is ‑‑ I think I took it for granted a little bit. My first two years I kind of just thought that always happened, I guess. I'd always getting to. The last three years of not getting to go really taught me to embrace this opportunity. It kind of goes into what I'm saying all along. You never know when this is going to happen again. You've just got to enjoy it, savor it.

Q.   It looked like you had a really cool moment in the clubhouse with Sandy Koufax. Can you share a little bit of what he said to you? 

CLAYTON KERSHAW:  I mean, he's just happy for us. Sandy is such a great guy. I think he genuinely cares about not only this team but kind of our well being. He cares about us. That's awesome. I have a great relationship with him. I have a ton of respect for him. To get a hug and get a good job from a guy like that, from a guy that's been there, from a guy that's done this before and was the best at it for a long time is pretty special.