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Clayton Kershaw day by day: Opening day 2018

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A Dodgers’ record 8th straight opening day start

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to our new series, taking a look at Clayton Kershaw’s 347 career games, one day at a time. We started things off last week with Kershaw’s only earlier appearance on the calendar, his March 22, 2014 start in Australia.

That brings us to March 29, 2018, the eighth consecutive opening day start for Kershaw. That moved him past Don Drysdale and Don Sutton for the most opening day starts in team history. March 29 was the earliest date the Dodgers have ever played domestically, though it was surpassed last season (March 28) and a new earliest date would have been set this year (March 26) except, well you know.

The Giants threatened pretty much all game against Kershaw, with eight hits and two walks, helping to get him out of the game after six innings. From my game recap:

Kershaw allowed multiple hits in each of the first two innings, then did so again in the fifth. Allowing 2+ hits in an inning was something he did in just four innings of his previous seven opening day starts.

Despite the traffic, Kershaw didn’t allow a run until the fifth inning, when the left-handed Joe Panik took Kershaw deep. It was the only run of the game, as the Dodgers were held in check by Ty Blach and company.

“I was fortunate to get out of a few jams there, but Panik one good swing on a ball and it cost us the game,” Kershaw said after the game.

This was an exclusive ESPN game with a 4 p.m. PT start, and part of a bizarre opening weekend series. The two teams split the four games, with the Giants winning the first two games 1-0, and the Dodgers following up with 5-0 and 9-0 victories.

This was Kershaw’s 293rd career game, and 291st start.

You might remember this game as falling squarely in the Cory Mazzoni era, which lasted all of three days. The Dodgers claimed the right-handed pitcher off waivers from the Cubs on March 27, only to lose him on waivers back to Chicago on March 30. Mazzoni never pitched for the Dodgers, nor was he on their active roster.

The outing (L, 0-1): 6 IP, 8 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

Up next: March 31, Kershaw’s first opening day start