Clayton Kershaw started his seventh consecutive Opening Day game and held the San Diego Padres to two hits and two runs, one unearned in seven innings pitched. The bats backed up their ace by placing 12 runners while Kershaw was on the mound. Two more runs came in the eighth inning to give the Dodgers a 14-3 victory.
The win was an impressive start to the 2017 MLB season. After falling two games short of reaching the World Series last season, the Dodgers entered the new season as one of the favorites to win a championship. The roster remains the same for the most part with key additions coming in the form of Logan Forsythe and Sergio Romo. Kershaw hopes the Dodgers can bounce back from last season’s experience and improve in 2017, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN:
“Yeah, I guess I never really thought about it like that, but at the same time, having that many guys back, to come as close as we did last year, to bring a majority of those guys back [from] last year, everybody remembers that,” Kershaw said. “Hopefully you gain experience from failure. I would know. So hopefully that makes us a little better this year.”
Kershaw referenced his perceived past post-season failures. It appeared Kershaw is beginning to change the narrative with strong outings during the 2016 NLDS and NLCS. If the rest of the roster can resemble a similar bounce back ability, the Dodgers could very well win their first World Series since 1988.
After suffering numerous injuries, the Dodgers showed their resilience by winning their fourth NL West title and advancing to the NLCS. It will be interesting to see what a healthy roster can be capable of in 2017.