For the third season in a row, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been selected by Don Mattingly to be the Opening Day starter on April 1st versus the reigning world champions and hated rival San Francisco Giants.
If you remember, last season Clayton Kershaw was battling the flu on Opening Day versus the Padres, and he only made it through three innings. In 2011, Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings versus the Giants, and the Dodgers beat their foes 1-0 at Dodger Stadium. This season, the Dodgers will be opening 2013 up at home. There is no doubt, that there will be a huge crowd to cheer Kershaw and the 2013 Dodgers on at Chavez Ravine.
Kershaw had this to say from Camelback Ranch after being awarded the Opening Day starter role:
"“It’s a huge honor and I’m excited to do it. Opening Day is an awesome atmosphere. I know there is added excitement. I expect the fans to be as awesome as always. And the Giants having won the World Series and that great rivalry, so there will be added stuff with that.”"
Clayton Kershaw can bunt too! Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
It’s kind of a no-brainer to choose 25-year old Kershaw as the Opening Day starter, after all Clayton has essentially put up Cy Young worthy numbers in each of his last two seasons even though he was only awarded the honor in 2011.
Don Mattingly will not be announcing the Dodgers starting rotation until the end of Spring Training since there are eight starting pitchers in camp. The forecasted rotation should be the following: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, and Chad Billingsley. The other starters vying for a spot are Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, and Ted Lilly.
While the rotation is not set in stone just yet, there is one pitcher who will be front lining the Dodgers five-man set for many years to come. Clayton Kershaw, the game’s best lefty, will surely garner a big payday with the Dodgers soon. Kershaw and Kemp are the keystones of this Dodger team, and I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to watch them play in the World Series.
Clayton Kershaw: 2013 Opening Day starter and 2013 World Series Game 1 starter?