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Kershaw's arm fares better than stomach in helping Dodgers lift curtain

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist
SAN DIEGO -- He was Cy Young ... and then he was Sigh, Where's the Bathroom?

Clayton Kershaw's first outing in 2012 was memorable, but not necessarily in a way befitting a defending Cy Young winner. Fighting the flu all day, Kershaw insisted that he was well enough to take his opening day assignment.

The Dodgers thought so for awhile, too. Then manager Don Mattingly saw he looked a lot more peeked after warming up ... and then the fun began in the Dodgers' 5-3 win over the Padres.

"The last time I looked, he was laying on the floor down the tunnel," Mattingly said, before deadpanning: "Not a real good sign, when your starting pitcher is laying down."

The flu has been kicking around the Dodgers' clubhouse in recent days. Outfielder Andre Ethier had it, but not to the extent Kershaw did.

"He definitely looked worse than me," Ethier said. "He went out there, and I think there were drips of Pepto-Bismol all through the hallway and underneath the dugout."

Kershaw wound up holding the Padres scoreless over three innings, surrendering two hits, walking one and striking out three. His velocity was down.

"I'm sure they were looking for a lot more," Mattingly said of the Padres, noting that Kershaw's fastball was a meek 92, 93 m.p.h.

"His fastball probably looked like some kind of changeup," the manager said. "He was basically looking for quick innings just to get off the field.

"He was pretty good. It was pretty impressive."

Matt Kemp, who absolutely crushed a two-run, opposite field homer in the eighth inning, said he didn't know Kershaw was sick until after the first inning, when someone "told me he was throwing up in the bathroom."

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Ethier had this great -- and apropos -- line on Kemp being serenaded by "MVP!" chants in the ninth inning from several hundred Dodgers fans who made the two-hour drive south to San Diego: "I don't know if it's for this year or for last year."
 
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