Left-hander Clayton Kershaw will get the ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season opener on March 31 against the San Francisco Giants, manager Don Mattingly announced on Wednesday morning.
Mattingly said he made the decision as far back as last fall.
“Probably the day after I found out I was going to manage,” Mattingly said. “This kid loves the challenge, and I would line him up against anybody.”
In this case, Mattingly likely will be lining up Kershaw against right-hander Tim Lincecum, the Giants’ ace right-hander and two-time reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. Mattingly cited Kershaw’s two victories last season over Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez, the N.L. starter in the All-Star Game, as evidence of his ability to rise to the occasion. …