Zack Greinke (5.04 ERA, 2.86 FIP) challenges the Diamondbacks for just the 4th time in his career and first since 2009. I can't really draw any conclusions from his previous starts as each of them have been unGreinkelike in their fashion. (7 walks?) As long as it doesn't turn out like this start, we--the fans watching this thing--should be OK. On the other hand, that was the start in which Zack hit a homer for his first major league hit; so if he supplies his own offense again the Brewers should be fine. At least Craig Counsell would be behind Greinke in this game instead of in front of him.
Did you know that Greinke has struck out 8 or more batters in 9 of his 14 2011 starts? His problem is that he's also given up home runs in 9 of those 14 starts. Greinke's other problem is that he's only given up less than 5 hits in 1 start.
RHP Ian Kennedy (3.39 ERA, 3.61 FIP) has faced the Brewers even less than Greinke's faced the D-Backs, both times last season. His pitching has become better every season that he's been in the major leagues. It's possible that, despite the performance of Curtis Granderson, that Kennedy may have been the real impact player in that 3-way trade before the 2010 season--if you don't count Arizona flipping Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson in the middle of the season. (Aside: The Yankees have so many homegrown pitchers doing interesting things for other teams: Kennedy, Tyler Clippard, Jeff Karstens...and other than Kennedy, they didn't get much in exchange for them. And that's really how the Yankees warp the fabric of MLB. Anyway.)
What are the Brewers going to see out of Kennedy? He has a fastball that hovers around 90mph, followed by a 81mph change-up, a 77mph curveball, and an 85mph curve. The PitchF/X data seem to indicate that his called strike zone gets a wee bit blurry around the edges. It looks like batters love to swing at his change-up, and if they don't completely miss it they'll put it in play 23% of the time.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (13 pitches) last night.
Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) last night.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (21 pitches) last night.
Marco Estrada pitched 2 innings (31 pitches) Tuesday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (7 pitches) Tuesday.
Tim Dillard pitched 0.2 inning (16 pitches) Monday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) Sunday.