Results tagged ‘ Ian Kennedy ’
Photo by Jon Willey
By Greg Dillard
Ian Kennedy didn’t have his best stuff, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to win.
Kennedy delivered a winning performance for the D-backs in Friday’s series opener against the Mets. The right-hander shut down the New York lineup en route to his 15th win of the season. The victory now ties Kennedy with Roy Halladay for most wins in the National League.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
By Greg Dillard
There’s nothing quite like watching a heated division race during the second half of the MLB season.
In 2011, the D-backs and Giants are locked in a close-knit battle for possession of first place in the National League West. Every pitch, every at-bat and every game means something for both of these teams.
By Greg Dillard
On Wednesday night, the D-backs suffered a pair of disheartening losses. They not only fell to the Brewers in extra innings, but also lost shortstop Stephen Drew to a season-ending ankle injury. So, heading into Thursday’s series finale against Milwaukee, Arizona was in desperate need of some good news on the diamond.
The team turned to ace Ian Kennedy who took the mound against Brewers’ right-hander Zach Greinke. In what was a classic pitcher’s duel early on, Kennedy cruised through seven sharp innings en route to a much needed 4-0 win. (more…)
Above: Josh Collmenter/ Photo by Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Dillard
Starting pitching has been paramount to the D-backs’ success in 2011. In a division where talented pitching is abundant, the Arizona starters have matched up well.
Photos by Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Salvatore
On the night of April 25, while Ian Kennedy was shutting out the Philadelphia Phillies, en route to striking out 10 batters in a duel with Cliff Lee the day after his daughter, Nora, was born, I received this message on Twitter:
I thought the sentiment was perfect. Out Cliff Lee-ing Cliff Lee. Kennedy was a strike-throwing machine that night, peppering the zone with every pitch in his arsenal. If you had no other information, and simply looked at the stat line — 10 strikeouts, no walks, no runs and three hits — and you asked fans to guess which pitcher had that line, Cliff Lee would be a pretty common guess.
Kennedy had one bad day this year (April 13 against St. Louis), but since walking off the field that night, he’s been one of the most valuable players in the National League. In his eight starts since then, here is Kennedy’s stat line:
5-0 – 1.87 ERA – 46 K – 13 BB –57 2/3 innings (7 1/3 per start)
Kennedy is, without question, one of the best starters in the NL this year and he should be rewarded for his fabulous season with the chance to play in the All-Star Game on his home field.
But he shouldn’t be alone.
The man who finished off Kennedy’s win in Colorado last night should have the opportunity to come in after him on July 12 as well.
J.J. Putz has been everything D-backs fans could have hoped for. Following a season in which the team had a historically bad bullpen, the overhaul in that department has been stunning. The D-backs have the seventh-best bullpen ERA in the National League and the 10th best in all of baseball. And it seems there is no bigger reason for that turnaround than the veteran at the back of the ‘pen.
Putz has given up only four earned runs and one home run in 21 innings this season, saving 14 games in 14 chances.
Though you still have time to vote (and vote… and vote… and vote!) for D-backs position players to make the All-Star Game, you can’t vote for these guys. It’s the National League players who pick the bulk of the reserves.
And if you have noticed what these two have done, it’s safe to say the opponents who have watched Kennedy and Putz dominate their teams have doubly noticed.
Top 20 starters in the NL, by ERA:
Top 10 closers in the NL, by saves:
Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Dillard
Veteran catcher Henry Blanco isn’t known for his power at the plate. He hit just 60 career home runs in 13 seasons in the Major Leagues.
However, Blanco has some pop when he’s been penciled in manager Kirk Gibson’s starting lineup lately.
In his last four games, the catcher has crushed four home runs. Two of them came in Monday night’s matchup against the Padres, as Blanco had the fourth two-homer game of his career.
He last accomplished the feat in April 2009 against the Giants when he was a member of the Padres.
Both of Blanco’s long balls came off of Padres’ southpaw Clayton Richard. The first came in the third inning, and the second came in the fifth.
“Henry is great,” Gibson said. “He’s played well for us. He really has. He had a good night for us tonight.”
Paterson continues scoreless streak
Southpaw Joe Paterson’s rookie season in the Major Leagues continues to be an impressive one.
He turned in yet another scoreless outing on Monday night against the Dodgers. He has now posted 17 consecutive scoreless outings, spanning 8 2/3 innings to start his D-backs career.
Paterson took over on the mound in the top of the ninth, and quickly retired Chase Headley on a fly out to left field.
Paterson then sat down Brad Hawpe and Will Venable on groundouts to end the inning.
Kennedy dominating in 2011
Through nine starts, Ian Kennedy is enjoying a stellar start to his second season in Arizona.
In 2011, he has a 4-1 record with a 3.05 in nine starts. His 59 innings pitched also places him third among all National League starters.
Against the Dodgers on Sunday, the right-hander allowed just one earned run in six innings of work. Against the Phillies on April 25, Kennedy outdueled Cliff Lee by hurling a shutout.
While he posted nine wins last year, Kennedy believes his ability to adjust during the game has led to increased success on the mound.
“I’ve been executing a lot more,” Kennedy said, “just trying to apply what I learned last year, and make in game adjustments quicker rather than waiting for a whole batter to pass.”
Kennedy has struggled in just one of his starts this year, a loss at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“That was one thing I was disappointed in myself when I pitched against the Cardinals,” Kennedy said. “I didn’t make the adjustment. I catch myself earlier now.”
The D-backs ace is slated to make his next start this Friday at Chase Field against the Minnesota Twins.
The D-backs returned home from the road Monday night, and greeted fans at Chase Field with a gem.
Behind Opening Day starter Ian Kennedy, the D-backs won 4-0 with home runs from Chris Young and Gerardo Parra. Justin Upton contributed a key double to center field, and made a tremendous diving catch in right.
But the star of the night was Kennedy, who pitched the first complete game shutout of his career, holding the Phillies to three hits while striking out 10 batters and not issuing a single walk. It was a brilliant, memorable performance in a ballpark that has seen the home team’s pitchers throw many brilliant games over the years.
Here are some images from photographer Jordan Megenhardt:
Ian Kennedy on the win:
Chris Young on the win:
Kirk Gibson on the win: