After Padres’ ace Andrew Cashner threw the second-best pitching performance in team history with his one-hit shutout of the Detroit Tigers last night, San Diego’s Ian Kennedy (1-1, 3.27 ERA) takes the mound with a difficult task as he faces Tiger’s ace Justin Verlander (0-1, 2.57 ERA) in tonight’s second game of the three-game interleague match-up with the Friars taking the first game, 6-0.
Kennedy is coming off an excellent performance against a much-improved Miami Marlins team that had been hot in the early part of the season. In his last outing, he only yielded one run over six innings with six strikeouts. Kennedy’s outing could be a glimpse of his role as the Padres’ number two starter even when Josh Johnson returns from the DL in a couple of months. However, over the course of his career, Kennedy has had a rough interleague, record posting an ERA over five.
The Friars are looking to make it three straight wins, but it is going to take a monumental effort from everyone as Verlander’s career record against the National League is 21-2 with a 2.56 ERA. Third baseman Chase Headley must keep up his hot bat. It is even more critical that the team take advantage of their opportunities with runners in scoring position since these chances might be few and far between with the overall performance of the offense at the start of the season.