On April 5, 2010, Vicente Padilla started for the Dodgers against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That’s notable for a handful of reasons. It was Opening Day, and the only time in the last nine years the Dodgers have begun their season on the road against a non-NL West opponent.
It was also the last time someone other than Clayton Kershaw started on Opening Day for the Dodgers. Vicente Padilla. There’s your trivia answer.
Kershaw will start April 4 in San Diego, his sixth consecutive Opening Day start, manager Dave Roberts told reporters at Camelback Ranch on Sunday. That lines up the left-hander to start April 9 in San Francisco and make his home debut either April 14 against the Arizona Diamondbacks or April 15 against the Giants. The Dodgers have an off-day on April 11, so Roberts might choose to give Kershaw an extra day of rest. Or not.
Don Sutton started seven consecutive opening days from 1972-78. Fernando Valenzuela started six opening days himself, though not consecutively. Don Drysdale started seven, while Sandy Koufax somehow only started one. Same as Vicente Padilla.
The Dodgers haven’t officially lined up their rotation beyond Kershaw, but that will probably reveal itself in the coming days. Kershaw will also be on the mound for the Dodgers’ first Cactus League game on Thursday.