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Diamondbacks ace Ian Kennedy leads the NL in wins

Aug 29, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

Ian Kennedy AP

I’m not much for pitcher wins, as they involve so many factors beyond how well someone pitched, but with Justin Verlander getting all kinds of attention for reaching 20 victories it’s at least worth noting that the NL wins leader is now Ian Kennedy.

Kennedy picked up his 17th victory with seven innings of one-run ball against the Padres yesterday, lowering his ERA to 3.03 and improving his K/BB ratio to 161/49 in 187 innings.

Kennedy, who was acquired from the Yankees in the massive three-team deal that also saw Curtis Granderson go to New York in December of 2009, has won eight of his last nine starts while the Diamondbacks take control of the NL West.

And while his win total is on the fortunate side his overall performance is no fluke, as Kennedy is a former first-round pick and top-ranked prospect whose career was derailed by injuries. He was plenty good last season with a 3.80 ERA and 168/70 K/BB ratio in 194 innings for Arizona and now he’s emerged as a potential Game 1 playoff starter at age 26.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    It shows how much times have changed that a guy like Kennedy, with his sparkling 17-4 record isn’t even mentioned in the top 3 Cy Young candidates in his league…below guys with 16-5 and 15-5 records. It’s a change for the better, but still a change.

    • SOBEIT - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      The reason Ian hasn’t received the press for potential Cy nomination is because he was always hurt, playing for a really bad team and was one of the few bright spots in the rotation, and/or he was competing against the likes of Lincecum, Kershaw, Ubaldo, etc…and that’s only in the NLWest. Add in the ace pitchers for Philly, Cardinals, Braves, etc and Kennedy is far down that list. But the NLWest has known all along he was capable…and this year is the perfect storm to get noticed by being healthy, playing on a contending team, having a great season, and other teams like LA, CO, St Louis are terrible.

      So this is his best chance in years to get noticed….but it will be tough to win the Cy with how well Philly and Atl are pitching.

      • Joe - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        And also, the year before last he pitched just one inning in the major leagues, with the Yankees. So that wasn’t enough to move him past Lincecum for the NL Cy Young Award.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:44 PM

        But the point of my comment is that in recent years, the best record in the league would have you near the top of the Cy Young candidates…or at least IN THE DISCUSSION. Today, things have turned around and now, just because you have a the best record, people are seeing that you aren’t necessarily a Cy Young candidate as they did in the past.

      • SOBEIT - Aug 29, 2011 at 1:55 PM

        Chris – I guess it just proves how difficult it is to get noticed in the NLWest…no matter your record.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 29, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        Well, I don’t know if I would agree with that, considering many people think Kershaw is the front-runner and 4 of the last 5 Cy’s have come from the NL West. My point is just that the media, at least when it comes to pitching, has come to like more of the peripheral stats instead of just giving it to the guy with the best W/L record…see Felix winning the Cy over CC last year.

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