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Clayton Kershaw emotional after Game 5 win & first World Series trip

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League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Five Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw was the winning pitcher in the game that sent the Dodgers back to the World Series since the year that he was born, and he was understandably emotional after Game 5 of the NLCS.

“It’s good to hear World Series. It’s been a long time coming for this team. I’m kind of at a loss for words right now,” Kershaw told Sam Ryan on TBS after the win, an 11-1 pasting of the Cubs. “I never thought in a million years I’d get to play in a World Series. I know we’ve got four more to go, I’m excited about it. But right now, it’s tough to sink in.”

Kershaw allowed only three hits and one run in six innings on Thursday, striking out five. Free of the burden of pitching on three days rest — something he did in each of his previous four postseasons — Kershaw now lines up perfectly to open the World Series on regular rest on Tuesday in Game 1, which was confirmed by manager Dave Roberts after the game.

“The first thing that comes to mind is Clayton and how long he's been a Dodger and how much he's wanted this opportunity to win a championship,” Roberts said. “He’s done everything he can individually on the baseball field. But the one thing that he’s missing is a championship.”

The Dodgers still have for more wins to go, but for now they can celebrate getting back to the World Series for the first time since 1988.

“This team, it’s what it’s all about. It’s a different guy every night,” Kershaw said. “I’m just thankful I’m a part of it.