The first pitcher in the National League to 20 wins is not Roy Halladay, not Cole Hamels, not Cliff Lee, but it is Ian Kennedy. The only 20 win pitchers this year in MLB are Justin Verlander (24) and Kennedy (20) wins.
Last night, Ian Kennedy pitched 8 amazing innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates allowing only one hit (to the Pirates pitcher) and walked only one. Justin Upton hit a solo HR in the 6th inning to give the D’Backs the lead.
J.J. Putz relieved Kennedy in the 9th to close out the game. After one out Putz gave up a triple and it looked like Kennedy’s 20th win was in jeopardy. Then two quick outs closed the game, gave Kennedy win number 20, and cut the magic number to 4.
Last night’s game was not about getting to 20 wins for Ian Kennedy rather about getting a team win and lowering that magic number to 4. The Giants have been on fire as they are now on an 8 game winning streak. The Diamondbacks must close out the Pirates this week. Losing their division lead would be catastrophic with the Giants coming to town this weekend.
The biggest debate as the season draws to an end is now on the end of season awards. The Diamondbacks are getting special attention with the Cy Young Award. Ian Kennedy has an NL Best 20 wins. He also has a 2.88 ERA (8th), 194 strikeouts (6th), and a WHIP of 1.08(5th). His 20 wins is obviously the biggest stat that pushes him towards the Cy Young.
There are two other pitchers that need to be seriously considered along with Kennedy, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Cole Hamels of the Phillies. Cole Hamels sports a 2.80 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and a 14-7 record. Clayton Kershaw is having a lights out year despite his team struggling. Kershaw has a 2.30 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and a 19-4 record. Clearly an argument can be made for any of these 3 pitchers to win the Cy Young.
How they finish the season will be huge in determining that winner but right now Kennedy is running away with his in September. For the month of September he is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA.
With pitching it is all about performing when it counts. Should Kennedy win the Cy Young it will mean much less without the Diamondbacks making the playoffs. If the Diamondbacks can hit their stride in postseason they will be a tough out in a very competitive National League.
Tonight the Diamondbacks send Daniel Hudson(16-10) to the mound against Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton (9-10).
Other news: Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Derrick Hall has been instrumental in getting the Diamondbacks competitive and setting that tone for the future. It was caught early so Hall has the advantage. Now this season’s slogan may become “Win it for Hall” as some D’Backs twitter followers have already suggested. Here is to a speedy recover Derrick.
About the Author
Written by Matthew Hesse
Matthew Hesse is currently located in Tucson, Arizona and he graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors in Business Management in 2009. Graduated from Tiffin University with a Masters in Business Administration with a focus in Sports Management in 2011. Recent intern with the Pro Exposure Basketball Showcase and Greene Sports Management. Fan of Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, and the University of Arizona Athletics.