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Pitching coach optimistic D-backs’ Ian Kennedy can return to ’11 form

Ian Kennedy has started 122 games in his big league career, but he’s never had one as rough as Thursday’s loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

The 28-year-old right-hander was knocked around for 10 runs on 13 hits in just four innings of work in a 12-8 defeat. With the loss, Kennedy’s record fell to 3-4 and his ERA ballooned to 5.72.

So what has happened to the Ian Kennedy won 21 games and had a 2.88 ERA for the NL West champions just two seasons ago?

“Right now, it’s just consistency with Ian,” D-backs pitching coach Charles Nagy told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 Friday. “He’ll go out and have a good game, then he’ll go out and have a so-so game and then he’ll go out and have a really, really bad game, like (Thursday).”

Despite the ugly numbers, Nagy wasn’t convinced that the results were all Kennedy’s doing.

“You’ve got to hand it to St. Louis, they’ve got a really good lineup over there and when you give a team like that extra outs in an inning, bad things are going to happen,” he said. “They waited Ian out on a few at-bats, he made a couple of mistakes out over the plate and they made him pay.”

That could have been the case against St. Louis, but Kennedy’s struggles have been pretty consistent throughout the season. Nagy has thoughts on this as well.

“Teams make adjustments,” Nagy explained. “Hitters make adjustments, they’ve seen him now a few times and they know early on, he’s going to throw fastballs.”

After an opening day win over the Cardinals, Kennedy has gone 2-4 with an ERA of 6.06. But his pitching coach is optimistic that his hurler can get back to his form of the past.

“It’s just consistency from one start to another and just trying to get him on a two or three-game roll and hopefully things will snowball from there.”

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