Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy had a 10-game home winning streak going into Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, but the Cards did not get the message as they pounded Kennedy, winning 6-1 at Chase Field.
Kennedy will have repeated nightmares about this game and the one person in those nightmares will be outfielder Carlos Beltran. Beltran had a huge night, going two for four with all six Cardinal RBIs. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning and smashed a grand slam in the second inning. Thanks to Beltran, the team has not missed Albert Pujols, and his bat in the lineup.
After those two innings, Kennedy was able to settle down and shut down the Cardinals the rest of the way. He finished with this stat line, seven innings pitched, giving up six hits, six earned runs, walking two and striking out six batters.
The Diamondbacks were unfortunately held in check by former Cleveland Indian, Jake Westbrook. He did not allow a run in seven innings, gave up four hits, walked two and struck out eight. The only run scored against the Cardinals was a run in the ninth off reliever Mitchell Boggs, when Miguel Montero doubled in Justin Upton.
This game highlights some of the things plaguing the team this young season. The team is third in the league in strikeouts, with 242, trailing only the Chicago White Sox and the New York Mets. It is something which improved last season, but the team seem to be reverting back to its old ways. Both Jason Kubel and Upton have 28 strikeouts on the season, followed by Montero, Willie Bloomquist, and Aaron Hill, all over 20 strikeouts.
Other offensive disappointments have been the struggles of Paul Goldschmidt and Ryan Roberts. Both were expected to have big seasons, but neither has lived up to the expectations. Goldschmidt is hitting .232 with a mere four RBIs while Roberts is hitting a woeful .190. Both players will have to step it up or Lyle Overbay and Cody Ransom will take over for the pair permanently.
The Diamondbacks will need to put it all together, even with it being early in the season, because you don’t want to fall to far behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the division lead. The next month or two will be key in determining if they will still be in it.
Follow me on Twitter @roberts_843.