In a shocking turn of events, the Los Angeles Dodgers have named Clayton Kershaw as their Opening Day starter for the season. No one saw this coming, no one expected this, and we’re all so very stunned by how it all played out. Oh wait, we’re not. We knew this would happen.
In all seriousness, who else would it be? Kershaw’s the best pitcher in baseball, so of course he’s going to get the ball on the first day of the season. It’s what he does, it’s what he’s here for, and it’s what he wants. You’re not going to deny the best pitcher in baseball, that’s for certain.
From Ken Gurnick, a Dodgers beat writer for MLB.com, broke the news on Twitter:
Kershaw named Opening Day starter.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 28, 2016
When the Dodgers and Padres kicked the season off last year in Los Angeles, Kershaw was on the mound and gave up three earned runs over six innings while striking out nine batters. Kershaw got a no-decision for his efforts that day, though, but the team still prevailed in that game, 6-3.
Back on Opening Day 2014, Kershaw threw 6.2 innings of one run baseball while striking out seven members of the Arizona Diamondbacks as the two teams did battle in Sydney, Australia. Kershaw got the outright win that day as the team pulled out a 3-1 victory.
Kershaw’s been the Opening Day starter five previous times in his career, and the team has won all five of those starts. Only Don Sutton has accomplished this feat, starting in seven straight Opening Days from 1972-’78. Three of them were against the Padres, one was against the San Francisco Giants, and the other was against the Diamondbacks. Kershaw and company will put that unblemished record on the line on April 4th in San Diego.
In his career, Kershaw is 12-6 with a 2.25 ERA in 27 starts against the Padres. He’s also racked up 175 strikeouts in 172.1 innings. He’s 4-2 in 10 starts at PetCo Park, though, and has a 2.13 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 63.1 innings. It’ll be great to see him on the rubber to start the season.