Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports
Yeah, baseball! Closing in on 2 months before we get to see the first baseball game (that counts anyway) since mid-October! It’s been nearly 3 months since that awful day in Saint Louis. Barring anything significantly unforeseen *knocks on wood*, we know March 22nd, Clayton Kershaw is going to be starting the first game of the 2014 Major League baseball season in Sydney. And if you look at the schedule, I think there is something eminently cool about this upcoming season in that it’d be something kinda unprecedented. I think you can pencil in Kershaw to also start the season opener on March 31st at the Padres, and then the home opener on April 4th versus the Giants as well thanks to a really really friendly schedule
I wonder when’s the last time that’s happened, a pitcher has started 3 significant opening day games games consecutively, also, when’s the last time a pitcher has won 3 games before some teams have even won a single game. I did some very lazy research (so don’t hold this to gospel) and found that Felix Hernandez came close to doing such when he started the opening game in Tokyo of the 2012 season, and also the home opener, but Jason Vargas had started the road opener in the Oakland Coliseum. This could be the first time (in relatively modern baseball history) that a pitcher starts the opening day of the baseball season, the opening game of the team’s individual season, and the home opener in the same season.
This is course REALLY selective, baseball didn’t start playing international games until the 2012 season. This is only the 2nd game of statistical significance terms of “in season standing” on international soil. Plus Clayton is the beneficiary of a very friendly schedule, but the point here is Kershaw will likely be the first pitcher to start 3 significant games to begin a season.
If I were to wager on this season for Kershaw i’ll bet it’s going to be one of his best, the best pitcher in baseball in his “pitchers prime”, coming so close last season to world series glory, he’s primed for a huge season. I’m overselling this massively, but the more MLB ventures into the other parts of the world and begins to play more games in international soil, we may be able to say Kershaw was the first guy to participate in 3 “opening day games” in one season.
Well enough of this mostly pointless post, spring training in ONLY 3 weeks!!! Kershaw is awesome, and enjoy the endless Masahiro Tanaka rumors.