Rockies starter Chad Bettis was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent surgery in November. He was declared cancer-free in January, but the cancer came back and he underwent chemotherapy. As a result, he missed the first half of the season. He began a rehab assignment last month and worked his way all the way back to Monday night, his 2017 debut and long-awaited return to the majors.
Bettis faced the Braves, holding them scoreless over seven innings. He yielded six hits, walked none, and struck out two on 90 pitches. Mike Dunn relieved Bettis to start the eighth inning.
There was a poignant moment captured in the dugout after the top of the seventh between Bettis and manager Bud Black. Via Nick Griffith of Fox 31 Denver:
Unfortunately for Bettis, his offense couldn’t provide him any run support. He did not factor in the decision, but the Rockies scored three runs in the eighth to win, 3-0.
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.