The 2010s have been the decade of Clayton Kershaw. He got his first home opener start in 2010, allowing two earned runs on three hits and five walks while striking out seven in 5.1 innings to earn the 9-5 victory over Arizona.
Kershaw got the first of his seven straight Opening Day starts for the Dodgers in 2011 (he is scheduled to make his franchise-record eighth straight Opening Day start Thursday at home against the Giants).
His seven innings of shutout ball with four hits and nine strikeouts in a 2-1 victory began the first of his three Cy Young Award-winning seasons.
Kershaw won again, 2-1, against Pittsburgh, in the 2012 home opener.
But it was April 1, 2013, where Kershaw cemented his legacy among Dodger fans in what was the best Opening Day of the 2010s.
Facing Matt Cain and the Giants again, the game was scoreless going to the bottom of the eighth.
Kershaw hit the first pitch of the inning from George Kontos over the center field wall for a 1-0 lead. The Dodgers tacked on three more runs in the inning against Kontos and Santiago Casilla, and Kershaw allowed a mere single in the ninth for a complete game, four-hit, no walk, seven strikeouts, 4-0 shutout.
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Last year, Kershaw allowed one earned run over seven innings in a 14-3 shellacking of the San Diego Padres. Joc Pederson hit a third-inning grand slam just inside the right-field foul pole and Yasmani Grandal hit two home runs to back Kershaw’s effort.
That makes the Dodgers 6-2 so far in the 2010s, with the Giants coming to town to kick off the 2018 season Thursday at Chavez Ravine.
The Dodgers are 6-6 all-time in home openers against the Giants but are 5-1 in their last six home openers versus San Francisco. The scheduled starters are Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner.
Kershaw is 4-0 in his career in home openers; the Dodgers are 6-0 in home openers started by Kershaw.
Once again, an epic battle is sure to unfold.