In what has been expected since before camp opened at Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers on Saturday named Clayton Kershaw opening day starter for their Apr. 1 regular season opener against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. Manager Don Mattingly said he told Kershaw earlier in the week.
"It's nice to have a guy that's consistent, not just an opening day guy," Mattingly said. "He's relatively healthy, he's pretty consistent in his outings, and you don't get a big fluctuation. You kind of know what you can count on and what to expect."
It will be the third opening day start for Kershaw, who pitched seven scoreless innings in a win over the Giants on Mar. 31, 2011, and pitched three scoreless innings while battling the flu in San Diego against the Padres on Apr. 5, 2012. Kershaw has yet to give up a run on opening day.
The last Dodgers pitcher to start three consecutive opening days was Derek Lowe (2005-2007). The last pitcher to start three straight opening day wins for the Dodgers was Leon Cadore (you know, one of the 26-inning guys), for Brooklyn from 1919-1921.
Since moving to Los Angeles, the Dodgers have had eight pitchers start at least three times on opening day: Don Sutton (seven), Don Drysdale (six), Fernando Valenzuela (six), Ramon Martinez (five), Orel Hershiser (four), Claude Osteen (three), Kevin Brown (three), and Lowe (three).
Kershaw in his career is 8-4 with a 1.37 ERA in 17 games, including 16 starts, against the Giants, with 127 strikeouts and 21 unintentional walks in 118 innings.