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Preview: Game #69, Diamondbacks @ Padres

Ian Kennedy makes his first start since being involved in the brawl with the Dodgers on Tuesday.



Ian Kennedy
RHP, 3-4, 5.49

Clayton Richard
LHP, 1-5, 8.06

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, RF
  2. Willie Bloomquist, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Cody Ross, LF
  6. Martin Prado, 3B
  7. A.J. Pollock, CF
  8. Cliff Pennington, SS
  9. Ian Kennedy, P

Arizona find themselves staring down the barrel of a sweep in San Diego, unless they can avoid defeat this afternoon against the Padres. It would only be the second such of the year - the first came against the Giants at the end of April - which is kinda impressive. But if we do get beaten, it would also mean that the Padres would come to within two games of the Diamondbacks in the standings. Considering they were seven games back going into last weekend, that would be quite a turnaround. I'd rather it remain entirely hypothetical, and we head back to Phoenix with our current lead over the rest of the division intact.

This might be the last we see of Ian Kennedy for a while, because it's quite possible that he'll drop his appeal after today's start. The way the calendar breaks down, with a couple of off-days coming up, this could work out better than going through the appeal process, and having to serve a suspension (which might or might not get reduced) at a time not of the team's choosing. Yes, this probably counts as gaming the system, but no more so than, for example, the Cardinals' catcher recently serving out his suspension against us, by sitting out a day game after a night one, in which he probably wouldn't have played anyway.

Wonder if there'll be any kind of reaction to Kennedy at Petco this afternoon, either from the crowd or the opposing players? I know the Padres and Dodgers don't exactly have any love lost between them, especially after Zack Greinke was involved in another brawl, with Carlos Quentin, earlier in the year [and, hey, Greinke got off without any disciplinary measures there too. What are the odds?]. So maybe it'll be the old "enemy of my enemy" thing in play? I suspect a couple of the Padres might have a quiet work with Kennedy and Hinske on the topic, but the crowd at large will mostly be oblivious.

Kennedy pitched much better last time out, but did lose to the Padres earlier in the season, when we saw them at Chase Field. However, he wasn't helped by the offense, which scored one run in support, and was likely left out there too long, his line being bloated by a two-run homer and solo shot, allowed to the last two batters faced, on Kennedy's 106th and 111th pitches of the day. San Diego also jumped on Ian early, getting the first run across before a batter was retired. That has been a problem for Kennedy all season: in his thirteen starts, he has allowed 12 earned runs in the first inning, with opponents hitting .327 off him there. Watch out for that today.