Kershaw completes spring season in style

Kershaw completes spring season in style

PEORIA, Ariz. -- In a flash, Clayton Kershaw on Saturday went from Spring Training mode (leaving a start after 3 1/3 no-hit innings) to regular-season Opening Day mode (cramming on the Giants lineup he will be facing on Thursday at Dodger Stadium).

"Instead of working on things, I'll be more focused on the team I'm facing. I'll go based on what I'm [going to] see from the Giants," Kershaw said after having set up the Dodgers' 5-4 win over the Padres.

That attitude for Kershaw extends to his mound opponent -- Tim Lincecum -- when the Dodgers for the first time in their history open the season against a reigning World Series champion.

"All I know is, he bats left-handed," said Kershaw, downplaying the duel aspects.

Saturday's final tuneup completed Kershaw's preseason on an upbeat note after he had allowed five runs in his prior six exhibition innings. With the fastball at his command, he needed 39 pitches -- 26 of them strikes -- to elicit 10 outs, three of them by strikes.

The 23-year-old's final spring line shows seven earned runs allowed in 25 1/3 innings, an ERA of 2.49. He issued six walks with 20 strikeouts.

"I was able to throw a strike when I wanted to. I commanded the fastball like I wanted. Everything else works off that," Kershaw said. "It was good to finish off like that, for sure.

"That's as good as it's going to get, and I'm just ready for it to start. I'm prepared, now it's time for the real thing, ready or not. From here, it's just a matter of doing it."