Kershaw to start opening day for Dodgers
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will start for the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day for the fifth straight season, taking the mound at home April 6 against the San Diego Padres.
“That’s the plan,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Monday.
Mattingly said he spoke to the left-hander four or five days ago about the start. Mattingly joked about the start when spring training began.
“I was preparing for it, but you never know,” Kershaw said. “We’ve got a lot of good pitchers on our staff. It’s obviously a huge honor. ... Now I’ve got a goal and a date: April 6, get ready to go.”
Kershaw won his first MVP award and third Cy Young after going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA last season.
Don Sutton is the only Dodgers pitcher with more consecutive opening-day starts. He started seven straight, from 1972-1978. Don Drysdale and Fernando Valenzuela each started four straight.
“Any time you get associated with those names, it’s pretty cool,” Kershaw said. “The Dodgers have a huge history of pitchers and to be part of that, to do something they did, is pretty cool.”
The Dodgers are 4-0 with Kershaw as the Opening Day starter. Kershaw is 3-0 with no-decision in 2012 when he came out after three scoreless innings against the Padres at San Diego’s Petco Park because of flu-like symptoms.
Kershaw even homered on opening day, connecting in 2013 in Australia.
NOTES: Most of the Dodgers workout routines were rained out Monday because of a chilly winter storm that blew through the Phoenix area. “It’s really not a bad day for us,” Mattingly said. Mattingly said he and the players discussed rule changes that are designed to speed up the game. “We also did some baserunning stuff inside and infield work.” ... Pitchers were able to get in their work, despite intermittent rain. Starter Hyun Jin-Ryu, who was sidelined for two days with back spasms, worked through a bullpen session. “My arm and back feel great,” said Ryu, who threw 32 pitches. “No problems. I feel good.” ... Joel Peralta threw 22 pitches in his first work off a mound since he was troubled by stiffness in his shoulder a month ago. “After I got loose, I was fine,” he said.