Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his major league debut on Tuesday when the Los Angeles Dodgers continue a three-game series with the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Ryu, though, may have his work cut out for him if he intends on matching ace Clayton Kershaw's gem from Opening Day.
Kershaw (1-0) spun a four-hit shutout and clubbed a go-ahead solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Los Angeles to a 4-0 victory.
The 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner struck out seven en route to his sixth career shutout, while his first career homer provided all the offense the Dodgers would need.
"It was a shock. I never hit one like that before," Kershaw said of his home run. "I thought I better swing at the first pitch since I struck out the first two times."
The left-hander is only the second pitcher in major league history to hit a home run and pitch a shutout on Opening Day. Hall of Famer Bob Lemon accomplished the feat in 1953 with the Cleveland Indians.
Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis each added an RBI, while Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis collected a pair of hits and a run scored apiece for the Dodgers, who went 86-76 last season and missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
George Kontos (0-1) absorbed the loss after giving up three runs on three hits -- including Kershaw's blast -- in the eighth inning.
Angel Pagan and Pablo Sandoval each had two hits to account for San Francisco's four hits, while starter Matt Cain fanned eight and scattered four hits over six scoreless frames for the Giants, who claimed their seventh World Series title in franchise history last season.
"Matt gave us what we needed," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain. "He threw six zeros. We just couldn't get a run."
Ryu, meanwhile, has spent his entire seven-year pro career in the Korea Baseball Organization and compiled a 98-52 record with a 2.80 earned run average over that time frame. He also helped his native South Korea to a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by going 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in two starts.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound southpaw won just nine times for last-place Hanwha this past season, but posted a 2.66 ERA and struck out 210 batters over 182 2/3 innings.
"As much as they don't know me, I don't know them," Ryu said. "So it's going to be a two-way street for me to figure them out at the same time they are figuring me out."
San Francisco will counter with a left-hander of its own in 23-year-old Madison Bumgarner, who was 16-11 last season with a 3.37 ERA. He's also fared pretty well against the Dodgers over the course of his young career, going 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA in eight career outings (7 starts) against them.
The Giants won the season series from the Dodgers last season, 10-8.