Thursday, March 20, 2008

Penny Earns Opening Day Start

Brad Penny has been named by Joe Torre as the Dodgers' 2008 opening day starter, coming off a strong six-inning showing versus the White Sox today.

PHOENIX -- Brad Penny added six effective innings to the best spring of his career on Thursday, and manager Joe Torre then added to Penny's resume by naming him the Dodgers' Opening Day starting pitcher.

"Why not?" said Torre. "He was pretty good. Barring anything in his last start, we've sort of planned it that way and no reason not to do that."

Penny is likely to be followed by Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda. The Dodgers won't need a fifth starter until April 8, with Esteban Loaiza and Chan Ho Park the finalists. Lowe started the three previous Opening Days for Los Angeles.

The Dodgers open at home Monday, March 31, against the Giants. It will be the first Opening Day assignment for Penny, who is coming off back-to-back 16-win seasons and was the National League starting pitcher in the 2006 All-Star Game.

"I've never done it and I'm sure I'll be excited," said Penny, who allowed one unearned run in the Dodgers' 8-2 win over the White Sox. "I'll go out like a regular start, just get outs. You don't get too emotional for a start like that. I don't compare it to the World Series or a playoff."

It's cool that Brad's so pumped for it. After watching Dodger starters fail to make it to the sixth inning in the last three home openers (Weaver in 2005; Lowe in 2006; and Schmidt in 2007), I'm hopeful that this year, I can see a better starting pitcher performance...against the Giants, no less.


Eric Karros said...

Nor did Nomo make it into the 6th inning in 2004's opener (5IP, 7ER). He did however pitch a complete game shut-out in 2003's opener.