Found May 03, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
While the Arizona Diamondbacks' Ian Kennedy is undefeated since late August, he suggests he's yet to really find his groove this season. The Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper appears to have found his. Seeking a 10th consecutive winning decision, Kennedy looks to slow down Harper as the visiting Diamondbacks and NL East-leading Nationals conclude a three-game set Thursday night. After posting a 6-0 record over his final seven starts last season, Kennedy is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA through five turns in the rotation in 2012. Though he's off to the best start of his career record-wise, opponents are batting .299 against Kennedy - significantly higher than the .227 he limited them to last season. The right-hander had a difficult time hitting his spots during Saturday's 3-2 walk-off loss at Miami, yielding one run, seven hits and three walks over 6 1-3 innings. Kennedy had issued fewer than three free passes in each of his previous 12 starts. "Definitely, the whole night was a battle trying to throw strikes," Kennedy told "It wasn't very fun pitching like that, feeling like you had runners on every single inning. My fastball was up, my offspeed was up. ... I feel like I've had 'C' stuff every time (out)." Kennedy has had his way in this series of late, going 2-0 while allowing a combined three runs over 21 innings spanning his last three starts. In his last meeting with the Nationals (15-9), Kennedy tossed seven frames of six-hit ball during a 2-0 road win Aug. 23. Kennedy, however, has yet to face Harper, who after going a combined 2 for 9 in his first three big-leagues games, came up huge in Wednesday's 5-4 walk-off victory. The No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft went 3 for 4 and scored a pair of runs - the second coming on Ian Desmond's game-winning homer off Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz with two outs in the ninth inning. "He was born for these situations," manager Davey Johnson said of Harper, who led off the ninth with a double - his second of the game. While the Nationals had scored a combined seven runs during a season-worst five-game losing streak, they're hoping Wednesday's victory will get them back on track. "You guys are asking the wrong questions," Desmond said. "We're in first place. We're playing good baseball." Arizona (13-12), meanwhile, saw both its overall three-game winning streak and four-game run at Nationals Park come to an end. "It won't be the last time it happens to us this year," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We're playing good baseball. We just have to shake this one off and come back (Thursday)." Winners of nine of 12 at home, the Nationals give the ball to Ross Detwiler (2-1, 1.64). After allowing only one earned run over his first three starts, Detwiler was tagged for three in six innings of Friday's 3-2 road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The left-hander was excellent in his only matchup against the Diamondbacks last season, surrendering one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-1 victory Aug. 22, earning the win. Detwiler will need to be wary of Justin Upton, who went deep for the second time in three games Wednesday. The slugging right fielder has gone 7 for 19 against lefties this season.

Montero rewarding Diamondbacks for belief

Miguel Montero was 17. Every major-league club but one already had rejected him. He was ready to quit baseball, finish high school and go study mechanical engineering in college. The Arizona Diamondbacks were his last hope. Junior Noboa, the teams vice president of Latin operations, had flown to Venezuela to oversee the tryout from his native Dominican Republic. Noboa's plane...

Saunders looks to stay hot vs. slumping Nats

While the Washington Nationals boast baseball's best team ERA, the pitcher that leads the majors in that category hails from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Joe Saunders looks to continue his impressive start and help the Diamondbacks win a fourth straight game Wednesday night against the slumping Nationals. After recording a 5.93 April ERA a year ago, Saunders (2-1, 0.90 ERA) has...

Kennedy's streak snapped, D-backs fall to Nats

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bryce Harper showed why his manager put him in the No. 3 spot for his fifth career game. The 19-year-old phenom hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the sixth inning, lifting the Washington Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night. Ross Detwiler (3-1) did his part as well. The left-hander allowed one run and three hits over 6 1-3...

D-backs notebook: Cahill easy on outfielders

Trevor Cahill knows how to give his outfielders a little time to relax in the field. Primarily using the sinkerchangeup repertoire that helped him win 18 games for Oakland in 2010, Cahill kept the ball on the ground inning after inning to help the Diamondbacks run their winning streak to three games with a 5-1 victory over Washington in his first career start against the Nationals...

Today's Match Up: Ian Kennedy Could Pose Problems For Washington

The Washington Nationals needed every single out they had to end their five-game losing streak last night. It wasn’t pretty to watch, but they finally scraped one out to get back in the win column. The Nats will look to make it two in a row tonight in the rubber match against Arizona, but they will be going up against a right-hander that was one of the best pitchers in the National...

Miley goes for 3rd straight win vs. Mets

Daniel Hudson is injured, but Wade Miley is doing much more than just pick up the slack for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Miley looks to win a third consecutive start in place of Hudson as the visiting Diamondbacks open this three-game series against the slumping New York Mets on Friday night. Hudson won 16 games last year and posted a 3.15 ERA after the All-Star break while helping...

Wade Miley Named NL Rookie of April

Arizona Diamondbacks rookie pitcher Wade Miley has been voted National League Rookie of the Month for the month of April.

Diamondbacks cruise to win over Nationals

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Trevor Cahill took a four-hit shutout into the eighth inning, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat Washington 5-1 Tuesday night to stretch the Nationals' losing streak to five games. Teenager Bryce Harper went 0 for 3 in his home debut for the Nationals. Harper, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, is 2 for 9 since being recalled from the minors on Saturday. Cahill...

Diamondbacks-Mets Preview

Daniel Hudson is injured, but Wade Miley is doing much more than just pick up the slack for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Miley looks to win a third consecutive start in place of Hudson as the visiting Diamondbacks open this three-game series against the slumping New York Mets on Friday night. Hudson won 16 games last year and posted a 3.15 ERA after the All-Star break while helping...

Nationals win on Desmond's walk-off HR

Arizona was within one out of its fourth straight win before J.J. Putz blew his second save of the season. Leading 4-3 in the ninth inning Wednesday night, Putz got two outs after Bryce Harper's leadoff double. The Diamondbacks closer then gave up a game-ending homer to Ian Desmond that gave the Nationals a 5-4 win. "It won't be the last time it happens to us this...

Ross Detwiler Out-Duels Ian Kennedy, Nats Win 2-1

The Washington Nationals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 last night to ensure their seventh series win of the year. Despite a five game losing streak occuring in their last seven games, the team has still only lost one series all season, and that was to the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. They remain 1.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League...

Diamondbacks Court Disaster for Cubs at Fitch Park

Dundee-Crown HS alum Ryan Court reached base five times on two doubles, a single, and two walks, leading the Diamondbacks to an 11-4 drubbing of the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ. Stephen Drew (2011 broken ankle rehab) arrived at Fitch Park after the game started and played the middle three innings at shortstop...

Mets vs. Diamonbacks MLB – Friday May 4 Pick

The Arizona Diamondbacks (13-13) have to feel pretty good about tonight’s game as fill-in starter Wade Miley takes the mound and he has yet to yield a run in two starts while the New York Mets (13-12) limp into Citi- Field having lost 3 straight and coming off of an 8-1 beating by the Astros. First pitch is set for Friday, 7:10 pm ET at Citi Field in Flushing, New York. Baseball...

Contest: Winner Receives 2 Mets Tickets to Tomorrows Game

Whoever answers this question first, will win two free Mets tickets to tomorrow nights game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Answer the question by commenting below. Question: Who was the only pitcher to receive a loss in the 1969 World Series? And how many earned runs did he allow?  Answer the question as quick as possible. First one to enter both parts of the question wins the tickets.
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.