Ian Kennedy was once considered to be the ace of the Arizona Diamondbacks starting rotation a couple of seasons ago, but he has not performed well enough this season to justify it.
He started against the San Francisco Giants on Monday, and this is a team that he has had great success against in the past. The problems for Kennedy this season are his struggles to remain consistent with his command from one start to the next.
Kennedy has a pitching style that depends on him locating his pitches with great accuracy and when this does not transpire, his performance is diminished. Since Kennedy does not have a blazing fastball like other starting pitchers in MLB possess, he is not able to rely on his velocity alone to get hitters out.
In the game against the Giants, Kennedy struggled to locate his pitches early and fell behind the batters that he faced. Once the Giants hitters realized that his command was not great to begin the game, they forced him to throw numerous pitches.
One of the aspects that make Kennedy a unique pitcher is that he uses his changeup to set up his fastball against the opposition. The reason for this is that his changeup is very effective at slowing down the bat speed of opposing hitters, and he is also able to throw strikes with this pitch.
Kennedy did have problems in this start with his command, but he battled through his issues and gave Arizona a chance to earn a victory in this game.