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Aces Give Angels, Dodgers A Great Start To Season

The Angels and Dodgers, both coming off disappointing 80-82 campaigns last year, got their 2011 seasons off to positive starts with wins on opening day, thanks in large part to their ace starting pitchers. After one game of the season, both Jered Weaver and Clayton Kershaw have yet to allow a run. Both will be key to their respective team's success this season.

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The strength of both the Dodgers and Angels are their pitching staffs. It's no secret that both offenses leave a lot to be desired, so they will need exceptional pitching to contend this season. Exceptional pitching is what the Dodgers got from Clayton Kershaw last night. Kershaw was magnificent in his seven scoreless innings, outdueling TIm Lincecum (who was excellent himself, allowing just one unearned run in his seven innings), while striking out nine. His game score of 77 was the 12th highest by a Dodger on opening day since 1919.

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Not to be forgotten though was Weaver, who didn't pitch in front of a nationally televised audience but was spectacular nonetheless. Weaver pounded the strike zone in his 6 1/3 innings, throwing 67 of his 107 pitches for strikes, allowing no runs and just four baserunners while striking out six in the Angels' 4-2 win in Kansas City. Weaver, it should be noted, led the majors in strikeouts last season.

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Sure, it's only one game, but if you can't get excited about opening day, when can you get excited?

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For more baseball news, be sure to check out True Blue LA, Halos Heaven, or the brand new Baseball Nation.