5) Ian Kennedy Restores Order
After the KC Royals starting pitchers gave up 19 runs in the first two innings over the last two days, Ian Kennedy went 7.0 innings while allowing 3 hits, 1 earned run, and striking out 11 on Sunday. It was nice holding the Astros to a single score after giving up 13 in each of the last two games.
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It was a much needed respite from both a four game losing streak, and two awful starting performances in a row. I must confess, I was totally dispirited by two straight games in which the game was over before the end of the second inning.
Yeah, I know that’s not entirely true given the Kansas City Royals penchant for coming back in critical games. However, even the KC Royals can’t summon that kind of desperation under most circumstances. The team’s body English was clearly lax after getting crushed in the early going in both of those games.
Ian Kennedy lowered his season ERA from 4.19 to 3.96 with arguably his best performance of the season. His three-hit gem included only one walk along with his 11 strikeouts, most of which came on his fastball. Kennedy gave the Kansas City Royals something that they’ve gotten far too infrequently this season: dominant starting pitching.
Kennedy also continued his pattern of strong starts in Kauffman Stadium, and troubles on the road. He came into the game sporting a 2.30 ERA at home and a 5.36 ERA on the road, including a mediocre 4.0 inning start in New York against the Mets on June 21.
If Kennedy can continue to miss bats like he did today, his road record will improve due to nullifying the problem of fly balls leaving the park.
Next: Whit Merrifield