Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers ace and reigning National League MVP Clayton Kershaw will be in a familiar setting Monday afternoon as he takes the mound for his fifth consecutive Opening-Day start.

Already 3-0 with 26 strikeouts and just one run allowed in his previous starts on the first day of a new season, Kershaw is looking to remain perfect on Opening Day against the San Diego Padres, a team he was 3-0 against with a 1.08 ERA last season.

Kershaw’s fifth Opening-Day start is second-most in franchise history — behind Don Sutton’s seven — and it’s an accomplishment that isn’t lost on him, as he explained to SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo:

It’s a huge honor. It is just one game of the regular season, but at the same time it’s a different feel. You go to Opening Day and just the feel, it’s baseball season again. The people who have done it in the past, the Dodgers especially, to be associated with them, it’s definitely a cool thing.”

When asked if Opening Day is still special considering the number of starts under his belt, Kershaw said it is, though admitted nerves will prevent him from immediately appreciating it:

Opening day is fun, no matter what. I’ll be too amped up and nervous to think about it at the time.”

Despite the great levels of success Kershaw reached last season, he faces a monumental challenge in 2015 as he’s not only expected to meet or exceed the standards he’s set, but also to solve his postseason troubles.

While it’s something Kershaw has given thought to, he’s also acknowledged October perception can’t be fixed or improved in April. Kershaw’s first regular-season challenge comes in the form of the new-look San Diego Padres and Matt Kemp, who said he’s looking forward to facing his former teammate.

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Dodgers Spring Training: Clayton Kershaw


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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

7 Responses

  1. Harris Bank

    It is a shame you can end the season in first place and not be in the finals
    Change the rules MANFRED never mind the batter that steps out of the batter’s box. maybe the batter has an itch and has to scratch himself.

    Reply
    • Giantkiller000

      How exactly would you like the rules changed? Just get rid of the playoffs? That’s part of what makes sports so exciting! I mean, look at March Madness. Kentucky was undefeated until the other day. Now they’re out. Done. Yesterday’s news. Not in the finals. The playoffs offer great drama. No major changes needed there. Maybe a tweak or two, but that’s about it.

      Reply
      • Harris Bank

        Listen GiantKiller all first place teams only deserve a shot at the championship. right now you can end in second place like the Giants and got the breaks through the series. Giant Killer you defy logic. am not abandoning the playoffs just the first place teams should be eligible but it is for the almighty dollar. Baseball slogan should be changed from the National Pastime to National Corporation.

      • Giantkiller000

        How do I defy logic? When you say Championship, are you referring to the NL Championship or the World Series? Either way, with 3 divisions, how do 3 teams battle for the championship? It seems to me your logic is flawed.

  2. Harris Bank

    ToGiantkiller000,, from a Giant fan I would not expect you to agree with me. But common sense dictate a first round bye for the first place teams. The second place teams should not even be in the playoffs. Only the first place teams should be in the finals. If you play 162 games and you end up in first place why should you have to play a second place team?. NO LOGIC THERE.

    Reply
  3. Harris Bank

    But the obvious reasons, are an increase of the “green stuff” to the coffers
    So GIANT KILLER000 don’t fall prey to the owners.

    Reply
  4. Harris Bank

    GiantKiller, there are three divisions in each league. right??? The winner with the most victories gets a bye. The remainder two divisions, the first place teams battle it out. That is a playoff isn’t it Giant Killer?? The winner of that series plays the team with the best record. So Giant Killer, all three first place teams get involved. Then the winner plays the winner of the other league in the World Series. Comprende???

    Reply

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