No name is as synonymous with opening day as Clayton Kershaw’s name happens to be. This is now the sixth straight season that Kershaw will put on his cap for the Los Angeles Dodgers and trot out to the mound as the opening day starter. In those previous five starts, the team is 5-0. Is a sixth straight win in order?
Well, it is if you believe that much in Kershaw’s ability to pitch. In those five previous starts, Kershaw has compiled 31.2 innings while striking out 35 batters, walking just 5, and giving up a measly 4 earned runs. His ERA during those five starts? 1.14. His WHIP? 0.82. In other words, the left-hander has been as dominating as you can possibly be.
“It’s a huge honor to be a part of it obviously,” Kershaw said last week, after his final Cactus League start. “It’s tough to balance. It is just one game to the significance of getting to start it. It’s a tough balance there for sure, but I do enjoy getting to pitch it, for sure.”
There’s no telling what Kershaw has in store for the masses, and the Dodgers, on Monday afternoon in San Diego, but if it’s anything like his past opening day performances then everyone is going to be in for a major treat. Kershaw has risen to the occasion before, and looks to do so again.
Kershaw enters the 2016 season just 254 strikeouts away from 2000 for his career. He’s still only 28 years old. And that’s the absurd nature of Clayton Kershaw. Everything he does defies the law of physics and time. If he has his way, the Padres will be having some Trouble With The Kershball on opening day, and he’ll continue his run of dominance.