It wasn’t the best of opening day performances from Clayton Kershaw, but it didn’t stop the Los Angeles Dodgers from beating the San Diego Padres 6-3 thanks to a very nice debut from Jimmy Rollins, outshining the performance from Matt Kemp against his former team.
Kershaw, the NL MVP and Cy Young winner of 2014, gave up six hits and three runs in six innings while striking out nine to make it a lukewarm season opener, with the win going to Joel Peralta, pitching in the 8th inning. The Padres relied solely on Matt Kemp to get them points, and the former Dodgers outfielder delivered with a single RBI to kick things off followed by a two-RBI double in the fifth inning, giving San Diego a 3-2 lead.
It was great, just to come back here and get the love that I got. I’ve got a lot of respect for him (Kershaw) and I feel like he has a lot of respect for me. I think he saw the crowd’s reaction and kind of stepped back and let it play out. Then we went at it.
But the Dodgers have so much firepower in the lineup that even a bad day from the quintessential ace doesn’t really matter, at least not in the regular season as we learned last year. A home run from Adrian Gonzalez and an RBI double from Carl Crawford gave them a 2-1 lead in the 4th inning, and RBI double from Howie Kendrick in the 7th tied the game at 3 apiece, and Jimmy Rollins got to save the day and win the game.
I’ve seen that too many times when he was in a Phillies uniform. I knew right away it was gone. He got a pitch that he wanted and put a good swing on it. He’s clutch, man. He’s one of those guys who gets big hits when his team needs them.
Rollins got out of the terrible situation in Philadelphia and joined the most ambitious team in Baseball. He showed his gratitude for “welcoming” him by hitting a three-run homer run in the 8th off of Shawn Kelley, who was trying to stop things from falling apart after Nick Vincent had already blown one lead. James Shields had a good start for San Diego, allowing six hits and two runs in six innings, striking out eight batters.
It should be a very interesting pitchers duel in the second game of the series as well. The Padres will have Tyson Ross on the mound following his first full year as a starter, including a first All-Star appearance. The Dodgers have Zack Greinke on the mound, coming off a 17-8 record and 2.71 ERA in 32 starts last season.