Grit Index: Kennedy’s struggles continue in D-backs loss to the Brewers

Jul 15, 2013, 4:58 PM | Updated: 7:07 pm

The Diamondbacks were unable to complete a four-game sweep of the Brewers, dropping the series finale 5-1 at Chase Field on Sunday afternoon. The loss gives Arizona a 50-45 record and a 2.5 game lead in the National League West heading into the All-Star Break.

Starter Ian Kennedy’s struggles continued against Milwaukee. He allowed four straight singles to start the game Sunday and all four were on 0-2 counts.

This terrible start prompted a visit to the mound by manager Kirk Gibson, something Kennedy said Gibby has never done before. Both Kennedy and Gibson said they wanted to keep what was said between them, but Gibson referred to it as “locker room talk.”

Kenned’s final line for the afternoon was 6.1 innings pitched with nine hits, five earned runs, one home run, two walks and four strikeouts. The D-backs’ right-hander is now winless in his last seven starts, going 0-3 with a 6.58 ERA. He’s also allowed 29 earned runs in 39.2 innings pitched.

As for Arizona’s offense, they were kept off balance by Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta. He came into the game with a 4.82 ERA, but held the D-backs to one earned run over seven innings with eight strikeouts. The D-backs finished with eight total hits, six men left on base, and they were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

The loss to the Brewers snapped Arizona’s three-game win streak and they are now 6-1 against Milwaukee this season.

The Good:

Lefty Eury De La Rosa made his Major League debut, pitching scoreless eighth and ninth innings. He went 1-2-3 in both innings and struck out three. He was recalled from Triple-A Reno on July 11 to give the bullpen some depth. De La Rosa is now one of four relievers in club history to throw at least two scoreless innings in their MLB debut.

Gibson said he could be an option for the future, that’s why they brought him up to see what he could do at this level.

The Bad:

With the loss, Kennedy dropped to 3-6 on the season. His 5.42 ERA is fourth-worst in all of baseball and he’s allowed 65 earned runs in 108 innings pitched through 18 starts.

Noted:

• The D-backs have now recorded an extra-base hit in 79 straight games, that’s the second longest streak in team history.

• Aaron Hill’s single in the fourth inning snapped an 0-for-15 streak.

• Miguel Montero homered in consecutive games for the first time since July 31st-August 1st of 2012 against the Dodgers.

He Said It:

“It was a locker room talk but it was good,” Gibson said when asked about his animated demeanor when he visited the mound to talk to Kennedy in the first inning. “I just thought it had to be said so… I think it was well-received. Look, he needed to get his butt going and we needed him to pick it up and he did. I give him credit for that, but I’d like to see him do that out of the gate.”

Up Next:

The D-backs will be enjoying four straight days off for the All-Star break. Arizona will head to San Francisco after the break for a quick three-game set with the Giants before returning home to host the Cubs.

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt and starting pitcher Patrick Corbin will head to New York to represent the D-backs in the All-Star Game.

Both Goldy and Corbin were selected as reserves for the National League. The All-Star Game will be on Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field. Goldschmidt ranks among the NL leaders in RBI, home runs and runs scored. Corbin is among NL leaders in winning percentage, quality starts, wins, innings pitched and opponents average.

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