Well, that was a short exile. Just 11 days after his demotion, Ian Kennedy is back with the Yankees. We’ve all certainly debated the pluses and minuses of his demotion and his quick return for the last 11 days. Let’s see how he does now that crunch time is here.
While in the Minors, Kennedy made two starts, one shortened so that he could pitch today. In 8.1 innings with Scranton, he allowed two hits and no walks while striking out eight. Those numbers are a far cry from the 8.37 Big League ERA he currently sports. In 23.2 innings prior to his demotion, Kennedy had allowed 28 hits and had a 20:15 BB:K ratio. Opponents were hitting .298 against him.
Kennedy’s biggest problem in April was his pitch count. He kept running up the counts early on, averaging over 7 pitches per out. If he’s throwing strikes today and finishing off hitters, all will be well.
For the Rays, Jim Duquette’s biggest mistake takes the mound. Scott Kazmir — yes, another lefty — makes his third start of the season. He’s 1-1 on the year. During his first start back from the DL, he gave up four runs, three earned, in four innings to the Red Sox. Last week, he shut down the Angels over six innings, allowing three hits while striking out six. He has walked three batters in each of his two starts.
The Yanks are sticking their righties out there against Kazmir. Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui both have the day off, but why Morgan Ensberg is hitting above the very hot Cano is beyond me. Game time’s at 4:10 p.m. Starting the Mets’ series at .500 sure would be nice. The Amazin’s, by the way, have just dropped their third out of four to a bunch of softball girls. Hopefully, the Yanks can avoid a similar fate against a much better club than the Nats.