This year Clayton Kershaw will make a seventh straight start on Opening Day when the Los Angeles Dodgers face the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on April 3. Kershaw will tie Don Sutton for the Dodgers franchise record of string of consecutive starts on Opening Day.
Don Drysdale also was on the bump seven times when the Dodgers opened a season, however only four of his were continuous. Drysdale does hold the franchise record for most wins (five) on Opening Day, which Kershaw can tie this year.
The left-handed ace will begin the season against the Padres a second straight year, and third time since beginning his streak of Opening Day starts.
While Kershaw has become quite familiar in the setting, it’s an honor he still cherishes, according to ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
“Any time you get to do it is special. … It’s always fun to get the season going and to be a part of it,” Kershaw said. “I’m thankful that I have done it for so long and with the same team. Not many people get to do that, so it’s pretty cool.”
The last pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw to start for the Dodgers on Opening Day was Vicente Padilla in 2010. Of the players in the lineup that afternoon, only Andre Ethier remains with the organization.
Los Angeles is undefeated in Kershaw’s six Opening Day starts, and he’s 4-0 with a 0.93 ERA and 44 strikeouts to just six walks.
Kershaw has gone at least six innings in five of the six outings, with the exception coming against the Padres in 2012, when illness limited him to three scoreless frames.
Kershaw’s streak is topped only by the eight consecutive Opening Day starts Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez has made (2009-16). Hernandez will presumably extend his streak this year.
Clayton Kershaw Opening Day starts
|Season||Opponent||Result||Innings Pitched||Hits||Earned Runs||Strikeouts|
|2012||@ Padres||No Decision||3.0||2||0||3|
|2014||vs. Diamondbacks (Australia)||Win||6.2||5||1||7|
|2015||vs. Padres||No Decision||6.0||6||3||9|