Dodgers Opening Day: Clayton Kershaw is One of The Best on Opening Day

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw is outstanding on opening day. He never loses. Let’s hope I don’t jinx him this time around because when you give the ball to him on opening day it’s one of the safest bets you can ever make. As a matter of fact, Kershaw is one of the greatest opening day pitchers of all time. We all remember what he did to the Giants back in 2013 when he tossed a complete game shutout and hit a home run. His overall body of work during the first game of the regular season is hall of fame worthy.

Kershaw is now 5-0 with a 0.99 ERA on opening day. This is his eighth consecutive opening day nod. If he wins again this afternoon he’ll surpass Don Drysdale for the most wins on opening day in franchise history. He also has the second lowest ERA in MLB history on opening day. Only Rick Mahler has a lower ERA.

Dodgers Lineup vs. Giants

Ty Blach-0-0 vs. Clayton Kershaw-0-0

Game Time – 4:08 PM PST- TV- ESPN

Embed from Getty Images

Even more impressive is how well he’s pitched against the Giants. In 40 starts against the Giants Kershaw is 22-9 with a 1.60 ERA. He’s tossed five shutouts and struck out 307 batters against San Francisco. He has a 0.8 career WHIP when pitching versus the Giants. Here’s the stats for the Giants against him. The current Giants are hitting just .203/.235/.279 against Kershaw with 9 home runs across 565 plate appearances.

Kershaw vs. Giants

Name PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP OPS
Buster Posey 109 104 25 3 0 3 10 4 17 .240 .275 .631
Hunter Pence 80 79 13 0 0 1 6 1 17 .165 .175 .378
Pablo Sandoval 64 61 15 3 0 0 7 2 12 .246 .266 .561
Brandon Belt 55 51 3 1 0 0 0 3 27 .059 .127 .206
Nick Hundley 54 50 13 2 0 0 4 4 14 .260 .315 .615
Brandon Crawford 36 35 4 0 0 0 0 1 12 .114 .139 .253
Andrew McCutchen 29 27 9 2 0 1 4 2 4 .333 .379 .898
Joe Panik 29 29 7 0 0 0 0 0 3 .241 .241 .483
Gorkys Hernandez 24 22 5 2 0 0 0 2 5 .227 .292 .610
Madison Bumgarner 21 20 4 0 0 2 2 0 12 .200 .200 .700
Kelby Tomlinson 21 19 2 0 0 1 1 2 7 .105 .190 .454
Mac Williamson 13 13 4 0 0 1 1 0 7 .308 .308 .846
Johnny Cueto 10 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Austin Jackson 7 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .143 .143 .286
Ty Blach 5 5 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 .600 .600 1.400
Evan Longoria 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000
Austin Slater 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .667
Chris Stratton 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 565 538 109 14 0 9 35 21 141 .203 .235 .514

 

These Giants are not the same Giants that lost 98 games last year and finished in the cellar. As you know they acquired Andrew McCutchen and Even Longoria from the Pirates and Rays respectively. I for one think it’s pathetic how those two clubs just gave McCutchen and Longoria to the Giants. Here’s hoping they stink.

We will not be seeing Madison Bumgarner as was planned after the southpaw fractured his pinkie finger on his pitching hand. Ty Blach will take his place. The Dodgers are pretty familiar with the left hander. The 27-year old finished with an 8-12 record and posted a 4.78 ERA over 163.2 innings pitched in 2017. Blach is a soft-tossing ground ball pitcher.

His strikeout rate was just 4.0 last year after recording just 73 punch-outs last season. Blach is 0-1 with a 1.38 ERA in 13 frames at Dodger Stadium. But again only 4 whiffs over this 13 innings. In 36.1 career innings against the Dodgers Blach is 2-2 with a 2.23 ERA across 7 appearances and four starts. The Dodgers are hitting just .232 (26 for 122) with one home run and eight runs batted in versus Blach.

Blach vs. Dodgers

Name PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP OPS
Corey Seager 15 14 4 2 0 0 2 1 0 .286 .333 .762
Yasiel Puig 14 14 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 .214 .214 .429
Justin Turner 14 11 3 0 0 0 0 3 2 .273 .429 .701
Yasmani Grandal 11 7 2 0 0 0 0 4 1 .286 .545 .831
Enrique Hernandez 11 11 2 1 0 0 0 0 3 .182 .182 .455
Chris Taylor 11 10 4 1 0 1 2 1 3 .400 .455 1.255
Cody Bellinger 10 10 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 .300 .300 .600
Joc Pederson 9 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .222 .222 .444
Logan Forsythe 6 5 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .200 .333 .533
Clayton Kershaw 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .250 .250 .500
Austin Barnes 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rich Hill 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Matt Kemp 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Chase Utley 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Kenta Maeda 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 2.000
Rob Segedin 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Andrew Toles 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Total 123 112 26 4 0 1 8 10 13 .232 .295 .590

 

The San Francisco pitching staff is in shambles. They’ve already lost Bumgarner for at least 4-6 weeks and Jeff Samardzija is out with a shoulder injury too. Another injury to Mark Melancon means three of their top hurlers will begin the season on the disabled list. Look for former Dodger Tony Watson or Sam Dyson to close for the Giants.

Winning opening day is always nice. Since everyone is a contender on opening day, a win sets the tone in a good way early. Getting that first win out of the way gives us all the warm and fuzzies. Remember that Opening day is just one of 162. So let’s make it a good one! Welcome back everyone!

Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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9 thoughts on “Dodgers Opening Day: Clayton Kershaw is One of The Best on Opening Day

  1. 1. Chris Taylor (R) CF
    2. Corey Seager (L) SS
    3. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
    4. Enrique Hernandez (R) 2B
    5. Cody Bellinger (L) 1B
    6. Matt Kemp (R) LF
    7. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
    8. Logan Forsythe (R) 3B
    9. Clayton Kershaw (L)

    Hernandez 4?

  2. Some good teams starting out with a bang. Cubs, Astros homer in first at bat of game and Stanton goes yard at 117 mph in his first at bat as a Yankee.

    What drama will Dodgers provide?

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