Dodgers’ Kershaw Gives Don Mattingly 1st Managerial Win

Fernando Valenzuela throws out the first pitch as Tommy Lasorda looks on.
Allen J. Schaben/LA Times

Left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who turned 23 on March 19, makes his first opening day start on Thursday evening against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Allen J. Schaben/LA Times

With Fernando Valenzuela throwing out the first pitch and Placido Domingo singing the national anthem, the Dodgers opened the season by defeating the San Francisco Giants, 2-1. Clayton Kershaw threw 7 shut out innings and struck out 9 Giants to win the pitchers’ duel over Tim Lincecum.

It is a great way to start the season by beating your hated rivals. The Dodgers got a free run by bonehead play by Giants catcher, Buster Polsey. He tried to throw out Matt Kemp at 3rd base when he was basically on the bag. Pablo Sandoval and Buster should be the blame. Had it not been for that run, the game could have gone to extra innings as Pat Burrell hit a homerun off on Jonathan Broxton in the 9th.

As a Dodger fan, everything Broxton goes out there in the 9th with a close game, I don’t have the same confidence as I had in previous years. He did okay but sure had me nervous.

Clayton Kershaw became the youngest Dodger to start opening day since Fernando Valenzuela, who 30 years ago today dazzled the world with Fernandomania. The Dodgers will wear a number 4 patch on their uniforms to pay tribute to one of the greatest Dodgers to ever play the game, Duke Snider.

I’m probably one of many Dodger fans who was tuning to the game and listening to Vin Scully. When Vin was behind the mic, I would put the TV on mute and listen to his stories. Vin is like a walking wikipedia. His stories are always captivating. Like when he was saying that Rod wanted to be like Fernando Valenzuela and his mother told him, that he was going to be like Pedro Guerrero and now Barajas is wearing number 28; Pedro Guerrero’s number, “sure enough, Mother prevail.”

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