Don Mattingly confirmed this morning what just about anyone with a pulse could have already figured out, that reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will get the ball for the April 5 opener at San Diego. With the home opener set for April 10 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kershaw is pretty certain start that one, too, although Mattingly said he hasn't told Kershaw that yet.
By the way, Kershaw said he still isn't completely comfortable with the changeup he has been working on, basically, forever. Said he threw it last year about as often as he did the previous year.
"It has been hard for me,'' he said. "Some things come quicker than others, and the changeup is definitely one of those things. I'll continue to work on it and not get frustrated with it."
Kershaw effectively won the pitching Triple Crown last year, tying for the N.L. lead with 21 wins and leading the league with a 2.28 ERA and 248 Ks. Over the past two years, he is 34-15 with a 2.57 ERA. And to all that, he is hoping to add a changeup that is more than serviceable. I'm sure that is a comforting thought to hitters around the league.