Arizona Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy (10-9; 4.34 ERA)
Though Kennedy has been solid in 2012, he struggled in his last outing, snapping a four-game winning streak when he gave up six runs over four innings in Pittsburgh. His last start against the Cardinals came May 8 when he gave up six earned runs and six hits over seven innings. In three career starts against the Cardinals, he is 1-2 with a 10.13 ERA.
St. Louis Cardinals: Joe Kelly (2-5; 3.47 ERA)
After seven consecutive quality starts, rookie Joe Kelly has had two poor outings in a row, giving up seven earned runs over his last 10 2/3 innings in starts against Milwaukee and San Francisco. While he has, for the most part, been a very pleasant surprise since taking Jaime Garcia’s spot in the rotation, tonight’s start is crucial if he would like to remain on the Cardinals’ roster when Garcia returns next week.
Tonight is the first game of a nine-game home stand for the Cardinals. They are coming off of one of their worst losses of the season on Sunday and know that they are digging themselves into a bigger hole with every loss they have. I don’t take much stock into Ian Kennedy’s 10.13 ERA against the Cardinals because it is only three starts, but between the loss on Sunday and the news of Brian Fuentes being put on the restricted list earlier this afternoon, I would be surprised if the Cards’ lineup did not feel a little extra incentive to put some runs on the board tonight.