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Padres' Yu Darvish Reacts to Getting Opening Day Start vs Dodgers in Korea

The veteran reacts to his first regular season assignment.

The San Diego Padres made it official on Monday: Yu Darvish will get the Opening Day start when they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in Seoul, South Korea on March 20. 

Joe Musgrove will start the Padres' second game in Korea on March 21. This is a historic occasion, as it's the first time Major League Basebeall has played regular season games in Korea.

Darvish, 37, who also started in the Padres' Cactus League win Monday over the Seattle Mariners, shared his reaction to the news.

“I’m very happy and honored about this,” Darvish said Monday afternoon through interpreter Shingo Horie. “I’ve never been to Korea before. So that makes it even more special. ... Just alone playing in Korea, that’s a big deal to me. But on top of that, we’re facing a really good team that made some very good additions in the offseason. Very (much) looking forward to fighting against them.”

— Yu Darvish, via Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The announcement came as no surprise. Darvish and Musgrove have been slated as the Padres' top two starters for the team heading into the season, so this is just confirmation of the consensus expectation in camp.

Padres manager Mike Shildt gave a vote of confidence to his top two pitchers.

“I mean, these are the guys that anchor our starting rotation, have had tremendous offseasons, are more than ready and champing at the bit to get started for regular competition. Couldn’t have two better guys at the top of rotation. It’s an honor to have them there. ... You could have literally flipped a coin. What a good situation to have to have two stud aces at the top of your rotation.”

— Mike Shildt, via Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Look for Darvish to try and get the Padres started on a strong note on March 20 — and hope he sets his alarm clock. The game will begin at 3 a.m. Pacific Time.