Ian Kennedy’s season up there with the best in Diamondbacks history

Sep 9, 2011, 4:24 PM | Updated: 6:35 pm

When it comes to the history of Diamondbacks pitchers three names always come up: Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb.

If he can continue his current pace, Ian Kennedy’s performance this season could propel him into the conversation.

Granted this is just one season and the all-time significance of Kennedy would still be nowhere near what Johnson, Schilling and Webb accomplished in their time with Arizona, but when you look at the numbers Kennedy is posting, this season could a historical one for the Diamondbacks.

Thursday night’s 4-1 victory against the Padres put Kennedy at 19-4 with a 2.90 ERA. He leads the National League in wins.

Kennedy has already outperformed Brandon Webb’s 2006 Cy Young award winning season, when Webb went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA.

You could argue that Webb had an even better year in 2008 when he went 22-7 and a 3.30 ERA, Kennedy could start three more games and match Webb’s win total.

It’s hard to believe that anyone could compare Kennedy with the two pitchers who delivered a World Series Championship to Arizona in 2001, but this is a special year.

Schilling’s best season with the Diamondbacks came in 2001. He went 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA. His stats are very similar to Kennedy’s.

But Schilling was much more of a workhorse, throwing six complete games and 293 strikeouts, compared to Kennedy’s one complete game and 178 strikeouts.

Randy Johnson won four consecutive Cy Youngs from 1999-2002. His lowest win total from those four season was 17, but he lead the league with a 2.48 ERA, 12 complete games and 364 strikeouts that season.

The Big Unit’s best season with Arizona came in 2002 when he went 24-5 with a 2.32 ERA, eight complete games and 334 strikeouts.

So maybe Randy Johnson could be the one pitcher to dwarf Ian Kennedy’s season, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

Kennedy has made a strong argument for the Cy Young award this season. He has led the team to first place in the standings. He has pitched just as good as the three all-time great Diamondbacks pitchers. But if he wants to stay up there with Johnson and Schilling, he is going to have to do it all over again in the postseason.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs P Ryne Nelson (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

D-backs eager to get season into full swing after strong spring

With Tuesday's final exhibition of the spring now in the rearview, it's time to look ahead to the regular for the D-backs.
1 day ago
This is a 2023 photo of Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Carlos Vargas. This image reflects the ...
Arizona Sports

Carlos Vargas earns final D-backs bullpen spot, Mantiply to IL

Arizona Diamondbacks righty Carlos Vargas has made the Opening Day roster, skipper Torey Lovullo announced Tuesday.
1 day ago
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll. (Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)...
Jake Anderson

Diamondbacks’ young prospects have Torey Lovullo looking at ‘very bright future’

It's hard to get excited about results in the penultimate game of spring training when Opening Day is on the horizon.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Drey Jameson speaks to reporters prior to a spring traini...
Jake Anderson

D-backs’ Drey Jameson ‘doesn’t give a (expletive)’ about not starting, only wants to win

Competition between teammates can bring out the worst in individuals, but that's not the case for D-backs' Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson.
2 days ago
Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits the ball during the first inning of the Spring T...
Alex Weiner

Five of the D-backs’ Cactus League standouts

Corbin Carroll and Gabriel Moreno were amongst the top performers for the Arizona Diamondbacks during Cactus League games.
2 days ago
Kyle Lewis #1 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a home run during the first inning of the Spring Tra...
Alex Weiner

D-backs OF Kyle Lewis focused on hitting his marks in stout spring

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Kyle Lewis got off to a late start playing in spring training games, but he caught fire quickly. 
3 days ago
Ian Kennedy’s season up there with the best in Diamondbacks history