Preview: Game #46: Diamondbacks @ Rockies

Denis Poroy

Ok, Ian. Patrick has set the standard for pitching this series. Whaddya got?

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Ian Kennedy
RHP, 2-3, 4.88

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Jhoulys Chacin
RHP, 3-3, 4.07

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, CF
  2. Didi Gregorius, SS
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Eric Chavez, 3B
  5. Cody Ross, RF
  6. Jason Kubel, LF
  7. Martin Prado, 2B
  8. Miguel Montero, C
  9. Ian Kennedy, P

How the mighty are fallen. Our Opening Day starter now has the highest ERA of anyone who has started a game for the Diamondbacks this year. Part of that is due to some over-performance of expectations, most obviously from Patrick Corbin, but I figured it'd be interesting to take a look at all 30 Opening Day starters, and see how their seasons have gone. Here's the list, in decreasing order of ERA+.

  1. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), 272
  2. Felix Hernandez (Mariners), 185
  3. Chris Sale (White Sox), 176
  4. James Shields (Royals), 173
  5. Adam Wainwright (Cardinals), 148
  6. Jon Lester (Red Sox), 140
  7. Justin Masterson (Indians), 139
  8. A.J. Burnett (Pirates), 138
  9. Justin Verlander (Tigers), 138
  10. Stephen Strasburg (Nationals), 133
  11. Johnny Cueto (Reds), 127
  12. CC Sabathia (Yankees), 122
  13. Jeff Samardzija (Cubs), 113
  14. Jhoulys Chacin (Rockies), 112
  15. Bud Norris (Astros), 98
  16. R.A. Dickey (Blue Jays), 96
  17. Ricky Nolasco (Marlins), 96
  18. Yovani Gallardo (Brewers), 89
  19. Cole Hamels (Phillies), 88
  20. Jered Weaver (Angels), 82*
  21. Ian Kennedy (Diamondbacks), 81
  22. Jason Hammel (Orioles), 76
  23. Tim Hudson (Braves), 76
  24. David Price (Rays), 75*
  25. Jon Niese (Mets), 68
  26. Vance Worley (Twins), 68
  27. Brett Anderson (Athletics), 65*
  28. Edinson Volquez (Padres), 64
  29. Matt Cain (Giants), 62
  30. Matt Harrison (Rangers), 56*

Kennedy, though below average, isn't as far down the list as I'd perhaps have expected. And, surprisingly, there's not much evidence from this list, for Opening Day pitchers being particularly "acey" - the majority have an ERA+ below 100, which would be league average for all pitchers (albeit an average that includes relievers, who tend to have lower ERAs). Not clear how much of that is injury-related: four of the bottom 11 are currently on the DL (they're marked with an asterisk), which seems quite a high percentage of Opening Day starters. Is there some correlation between the pressure of that position and injury? No idea, just a thought.

Kennedy's ERA has been trending downwards of late, though it has been progress of the "two steps forward, one step back" kind, with a 4.42 ERA over the last six starts, since it peaked at 5.79, three games into the season. Still not what we'd want from our "ace," but if that's going to be the worst ERA we get from our rotation the rest of the way, I think we'll cope with it. He pitched at Coors the first time we were here: Kennedy did give us a quality start (albeit just: 6 IP, 3 ER), but took the loss, as the offense could only muster one run against Chacin. Hopefully, the rematch tonight will go a bit better, and we won't repeat the Marlins series, using up all our offense in the opener.

This is the free MLB.TV Game of the Day (H/T songbird), so those of you outside the dreaded blackout territory will be able to enjoy it on their device of choice.

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