When the Dodgers and Giants get together, it's always a treat, simply because of their rivalry goes back more than a century. Add in the fact that tonight is opening day, and the game features two of the best pitchers in baseball, as the game becomes even more special. Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers will host Tim Lincecum and the Giants in an evening game at Dodger Stadium on ESPN.
Tonight's 5 p.m. PDT game will be one of two games televised this weekend by ESPN (well, technically Sunday's game is on ESPN2). Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, and Bobby Valentine are on the call. Local fans, however, don't fear. Vin Scully will be calling at least six innings on radio, KABC 790. Scully will call the first three innings and innings seven through nine, plus any extra innings.
The Dodgers open their season with five players on the disabled list, including projected regulars Casey Blake and Jay Gibbons. Newcomer Juan Uribe, penciled in as the regular second baseman, will open the season at third base for Blake, with Jamey Carroll getting the opening day nod at second base. Ivan DeJesus is also expected to see time at second base in Blake's absence. Tony Gwynn Jr. will get the opening day start in left field, against the right-handed Lincecum, though Xavier Paul will also play against right-handers.
Kershaw has allowed six earned runs in five career starts against the Giants, and picked up his first career complete game and shutout at AT&T Park in San Francisco last September. One of the hitters Kershaw will face will be Brandon Belt, who is making his major league debut tonight. Belt, a left-handed batter, won the Giants' first base job out of spring, and he played against Kershaw in high school in Texas. Both graduated high school in 2006.
Matt Kemp has an active streak of homering in five straight game, tied for the longest streak in Dodgers franchise history. Andre Ethier has reached base in each of his last eight plate appearances.
For more opening day and Dodgers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.