PHOENIX -- Ian Kennedy knows how difficult it can be to win 20 games, having lived through it last year. So he limits his numerical goals to those more in his control, liking being in good enough condition to make every start and log 200 or more innings.
"It is something you can build off," Kennedy said last week.
The construction begins Friday, when Kennedy will make his second career opening-day start against San Francisco at Chase Field. Kennedy has not minded that matchup since he joined the D-backs in 2010, when his style and demeanor drew comparisons to Greg Maddux.
Kennedy beat the Giants three times in five quality starts last season, outpitching his opening-day opponent, Tim Lincecum, in a crucial Sept. 3 game in San Francisco to keep the Giants from picking up momentum in the NL West race.
He also was the winning pitcher on Sept. 24, the day after the D-backs clinched the division title, to finish 3-0 with a 1.22 ERA in 37 innings against the Giants.