Would the real Ian Kennedy please stand up?
The right-hander of the Arizona Diamondbacks was incredible during the team’s run to the 2011 National League West crown, going 21-4 in 33 starts. Kennedy finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting that season.
Since then, however, things have not gone as smoothly. Kennedy has been consistently healthy, but hasn’t had nearly the same success.
Kennedy went seven strong innings on Opening Day in a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits and struck out eight in earning his second straight Opening Day victory.
That was Kennedy’s last win, however. Since then, he’s 0-3 with a hefty 5.70 ERA. That includes a 5-1 loss to the San Diego Padres Sunday in which Kennedy allowed five earned runs in 5.2 innings and yielded back-to-back home runs to Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable in the fifth inning.
“I think he’s just kind of gotten away from who he is,” manager Kirk Gibson told Burns and Gambo Tuesday on Arizona Sports 620. “The Ian Kennedy that we know, he commands all quadrants of the zone — up and down, in and out — with all of his pitches. He’s maybe lost a little bit of confidence in his fastball, he hasn’t been throwing it inside as much to keep guys honest.”
Gibson also said that he, pitching coach Charles Nagy and general manager Kevin Towers sat down with Kennedy recently to discuss his issues and give different perspectives on what they’ve seen.
“He’s going to have to make some adjustments, let’s face it,” Gibson said. “He’s not throwing the ball the way he has in the past, he hasn’t had the results he’s had in the past.
“It’s not because he’s not trying — this guy is as dedicated as anybody we have on the team. So we’ll try and come together and see what we can do for the next start — we know he’ll get on track.”
Below is an infographic illustrating the stark difference between Kennedy’s magical 2011 season and what he’s endured since.
Ian Kennedy: 2011 vs. Since