Somehow missed this when I made my morning rounds (blame the Midwest bias) but Hanley Ramirez had to leave the Giants-Dodgers game last night with a strained hamstring.
It was the same hamstring that bothered him in May and cost him a month. As it was, he was taken out of the game in the seventh inning for “precautionary” reasons according to the Dodgers. He wouldn’t talk to reporters about it afterward.
Ramirez is obviously key to the Dodgers’ offensive attack. He’s hitting .342/.390/.634 on the season in 79 games. If he’s out for a while it’s the Nick Punto show. Which is not quite as threatening to opposing pitchers.
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.