Mets outfielder Matt den Dekker, making this third career start tonight against the Nationals, blasted a Ross Ohlendorf fastball into the upper deck in right field at Nationals Park for his first career home run.
den Dekker spent most of this season with Triple-A Las Vegas, posting an .852 OPS in 202 trips to the plate.
The solo homer put the Mets up 3-0 early as they attempt to complete a series sweep of the Nats, whose playoff hopes are fading quickly. Nationals manager Davey Johnson called dropping a series to the Mets “one of my worst nightmares”. A series sweep with his team’s playoff chances on life support must then be the seventh circle of hell.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.