About Last Night: Kershaw Beats Giants All by Himself

In case you were busy dancing like no one was watching, despite the fact many, many people were watching, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday.

  • Clayton Kershaw pitched a shutout and hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants, 4-0 to open their 2013 season. “I’ve been playing at such a high level for a number of years, and now it’s time for me to make an impact at every level of the franchise,” Kershaw said after the game, while directing traffic in Dodger Stadium’s serpentine parking lot, adeptly moving those headed to the 110 away from those headed toward the 101. Kershaw reportedly spent the remainder of his evening helping the grounds crew reseed the playing surface, before finally heading to the locker room to do the team’s laundry.
  • Mike Conley and the Memphis Grizzlies sent the Spurs to their second consecutive defeat, winning in Memphis, 92-90. Conley hit the game-winning shot with six-tenths of a second left on the clock, but was also held without a steal for the first time in 64 games. “I’m out of the game,” Conley said after the win. “I’ve been taking things my whole life, but I’m done. I’ve got a wife now, and I think a more stable life is what we need.” Despite these comments, Conley was, admittedly, “intrigued” by a plan that Marc Gasol was putting together for “one last big score,” but at press time had still refused to commit to any more steals in a potential first-round matchup with the Denver Nuggets.
  • USC has hired former Florida Gulf Coast University head coach Andy Enfield to take over its men’s basketball program. This is big news for fans who’ve been hoping to refer to “rising star Andy Enfield” as “disgraced former head coach Andy Enfield” within the next 24 months.
  • Jon Lester was solid in his first outing of the year, as the Boston Red Sox beat the Yankees in New York, 8-2. C.C. Sabathia was less effective for the Bronx Bombers, giving up four runs, with his fastball topping out at 91 miles per hour, five miles per hour less than at the start of last season. “Of course,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. “Of fucking course.” Cashman then pulled a switchblade out of his pocket and waved it in the air while laughing maniacally, before throwing up all over himself and passing out.
  • Despite a 41-point fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Clippers fell short in their comeback attempt against the Indiana Pacers, 109-106. The game was won on the inside, where Pacers center Roy Hibbert dominated DeAndre Jordan on both ends of the court. “All of my scouting reports suggested that he would be a jovial doctor, but he was an absolute beast,” Jordan explained after the game. When asked if he was watching game film or old episodes of The Simpsons to scout the Pacers, Jordan responded, “I was watching video of Hibbert. That’s as specific as anyone got with me.”
  • Bryce Harper started the big league season with a bang, hitting two home runs in the Washington Nationals’ 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins. To go along with his increasingly mature hitting approach, Harper has also displayed a newfound sense of refinement and decorum. The change has been attributed to a chance offseason encounter between Harper and a professor of phonetics. The professor, who came upon Harper “broing out with his bros,” told Harper that he could completely overhaul the way that Harper speaks and behaves, allowing him to move gracefully within the world of high society. After some consideration, Harper decided that the change would be lovely and set out to refine himself before attending the Governor’s Ball. While the transformation was a success, Harper found himself on the other side of the experience, feeling used and alone. After some discord, the professor, too, realized that he had become accustomed to Harper’s face, but he confessed his feelings too late. Spring training had already begun, and Harper was gone forever — but not without a change in his voice, a song in his heart, and a desire to pummel opposing pitching in the most respectful manner possible.
  • The University of Connecticut is headed to its sixth consecutive Women’s Final Four, after beating Kentucky, 83-53. “The more things change, the more things stay the same,” Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma said after the game, before pulling out his special gold-plated “net-cutting scissors,” that he “just happened to have on [him]” to cut down the nets. “Do I carry gold scissors with me everywhere I go? Maybe I do, or maybe I do,” Auriemma added before winking ostentatiously.
  • Chelsea advanced to the semifinals of the FA Cup, as a Demba Ba strike gave the Blues a 1-0 win over Manchester United. Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech made a number of phenomenal saves to secure the win for Chelsea, or as United manager Sir Alex Ferguson referred to them, “a series of increasingly blatant illegal handballs that violated the sanctity of the game and must be investigated by the FA.”
  • Felix Hernandez was dealing, throwing 7⅔ scoreless innings, as the Seattle Mariners won their seventh consecutive Opening Day game, 2-0, over the Oakland A’s. “This year will turn out different,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said afterward as he penciled in Hernandez to start tomorrow’s game. “Our mistake has been failing to capitalize on the momentum that Felix has created for us. And what better way to do that than have Felix pitching the next day?” When asked if that meant Hernandez would be pitching every day, Wedge shook his head before pausing and saying, “Yes, yes I suppose it does.”
  • On a day when a number of second-string quarterbacks switched teams, the Cleveland Browns traded backup quarterback Colt McCoy to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for draft pick compensation. The 49ers acquired McCoy despite his disappointing performance over the past two seasons. “Playing poorly is a totally normal reaction to being in Cleveland,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. “We’re just glad to be able to buy low on a potentially valuable asset. We think pretty much any non-Cleveland setting should give McCoy the boost he needs to fulfill his promise. And if not, at least we did a good deed.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Boston Red Sox, Bryce Harper, Chelsea, Cleveland Browns, Felix Hernandez, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Manchester United, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Marlins, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, San Antonio Spurs, San Francisco 49Ers, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, USC

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

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