Ian Kennedy and Zack Greinke will face off today for the first time since they caused a brawl last June that resulted in six ejected players and a ten-game suspension for Kennedy. Less than two months later, at the trade deadline, Kennedy became a Padre. In his first start against the Dodgers in an SD uniform, he'll look to put the brawl behind him and help his team beat LA on the mound.
Kennedy went 4-2 in ten starts after joining the Padres last season. As a Diamondback, however, he made three starts against the Dodgers, giving up 13 runs in 17 2/3 innings. He collected 12 strikeouts over those three outings. The right-hander went 21 1/3 innings in six starts this Spring, pitching to the tune of a 6.33 ERA. He last pitched six days ago against the Royals, but only for two innings, giving up three runs on six hits, including two homers.
Greinke, on the other hand, pitched six innings in his final preseason appearance. He also gave up three runs, though only two were earned. Greinke missed two weeks during Spring Training with a sprained calf, so the Dodgers refrained from having him start either game of their opening series in Sydney, as well as Sunday's opener at Petco Park. But he hopes to build on a 2013 season that saw him win 12 of his last 14 decisions and end with the fifth-lowest ERA in the league, as well as hold a 1-1 record in the playoffs. Greinke was especially successful against the Padres last year, going 2-0 in four appearances. But one of those appearances also resulted in a brawl that cleared the bases at Petco Park. He came out of it with a broken collarbone after engaging in a physical altercation with Carlos Quentin. He won't have to face Quentin this time around, as the outfielder is out with a bone bruise, which he suffered during Spring Training.
Greinke will need to watch out for Seth Smith's bat. Not only did Smith hit the pinch-hit game-tying home run, a monster shot to right field, to kick off the Padres' rally on Sunday night; he also has a great track record against the Dodgers starter. Smith is 5-for-13 all-time against Greinke, including three doubles.
The Dodgers lineup was limited to four runs on Sunday with their middle of the lineup continuing to stay cold. Going into their fourth game of the season, Yasiel Puig is batting 3-for-13, Hanley Ramirez is 1-for-11, and former Padre Adrian Gonzalez is 1-for-9. Andre Ethier has also gone 2-for-12, but has a .438 clip, including two home runs, against Kennedy over the last two years.