National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, July 28th (All times eastern)
New York Mets (48-52) at Arizona Diamondbacks (50-50), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Chris Young (2-4, 3.91) Arizona - Ian Kennedy (8-8, 4.20)
(Sports Network) - Ian Kennedy goes after his third straight win on Saturday when the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets continue a four-game set at Chase Field,
Kennedy has resembled the pitcher who won 21 games a year ago his last two times out. After giving up a run in eight innings to beat Cincinnati on July 18, Kennedy defeated the Colorado Rockies on Monday, holding them to a pair of runs and five hits in eight innings. He also struck out seven without walking a batter for the second straight time.
"It's not going to happen every time, but it's just good to see him throw back-to-back games with consistency," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Again he mixed his pitches up, had much better location tonight."
Kennedy, who is 8-8 on the year with a 4.20 ERA, has beaten the Mets all three times he has faced them and has pitched to a 3.50 ERA in doing so.
New York, meanwhile, will counter with veteran lefty Chris Young, who is 2-4 with a 3.91 ERA. Young did not get a decision on Monday against Washington, but was effective, as he allowed two runs and three hits - all in the first inning - with three walks in seven innings of his team's 8-2 loss. He also struck out a season-high seven batters.
"It's a good outing, but it's not good enough," said Young, who retired 18 of 19 batters from the first through seventh innings. "I'll keep building on it. I hope to get stronger as the season progresses. But it's just tough to evaluate that stuff right now. Ultimately it's a team loss, and that's all I really care about."
Young is 2-3 lifetime versus the D'Backs with a 3.91 ERA in 10 starts.
On Friday, Willie Bloomquist smacked a run-scoring single as part of a six-run second inning and Arizona coasted to an 11-5 rout. Chris Young clubbed a two- run double for the Diamondbacks, who snapped a brief two-game skid.
Josh Collmenter (3-2) allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings to pick up the win. He also contributed offensively with an RBI single. Relievers Brad Ziegler and Craig Breslow finished off the rout for the D-Backs.
"It was a lot closer that the score indicates," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We kept adding on though. (David) Wright hit a bomb there, but Josh kept his composure because we needed innings tonight."
Wright smoked a three-run home run and Ike Davis clubbed a solo shot in the loss for the Mets, who have dropped 13 of their last 15 games.
Jon Niese (7-5) was tagged for eight runs -- six earned -- on nine hits and a walk over six innings. He fanned five batters.
"I think there are nights where he really struggles, he just can not make the pitch he needs to make," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Tonight he left some balls up and on the plate and they had some good swings."
The Mets are 3-2 against Arizona so far in 2012, having taken two of three bouts with the Diamondbacks in New York from May 4-6.
07/28 10:22:59 ET