By Jon Weisman
Every season, every single season in this glorious era of Clayton Kershaw, it’s impertinent to ask whether he can top himself. How can you demand more of someone who has perched at the summit so long, we’re all losing oxygen?
It seems gauche even to hope Kershaw can match his performance from previous years, during which he led the Majors in ERA for four of the past five seasons and had a 1.99 FIP in the year he didn’t.
And yet out comes Kershaw in San Diego, into the gloaming as he begins what unbelievably is his ninth big-league campaign. And as he has he before, he picks up the thread from the last season like it is one continuous stitch.
In the last meaningful regular-season game he pitched in 2015, he allowed one hit and one walk, pitching the Dodgers to a National League West-clinching victory.
In his seven innings tonight, while the Dodgers built a 15-0 lead, Kershaw allowed one hit and one walk, pitching the Dodgers toward a sixth consecutive Opening Day victory.