Top first: Strong first inning for Ian Kennedy who threw 10 pitches, eight of them fastballs. He missed outside with his first pitch, then threw two called strikes before a weak flyout to left. Next batter grounded out to short on the first pitch. No. 3 hitter Chris Getz took a low fastball, fouled off a fastball then pulled a curveball foul. That was Kennedy's first offspeed pitch of the night. After a fastball up and in, Getz flied out to right on a changeup.
Top second: Another inning, another dose of fastballs from Ian Kennedy. Took him 10 pitches to get through another inning, and seven of those pitches were fastballs. He struck out the first hitter and the last hitter, both on curveballs setup by fastballs.
Top third: For the first time tonight, Kennedy leaned on his offspeed stuff a little bit. He threw seven pitches to Mike Rouse, and three of the first five were offspeed (back-to-back changeups and a 2-2 curveball in the dirt). With a full count, Kennedy went back to the fastball and got a foul ball and a drive to right-center that Justin Christian saved with an outstanding diving catch. Next batter flied out on a first-pitch fastball, which setup a moment of stupidity. After a first-pitch strike to No. 9 hitter Fernando Cortez, Kennedy plunked him with a fastball, at which point Cortez made a big fuss and acted like he was going to charge the mound. Unless those two have some personal history I don't know about, I'm pretty sure Kennedy was not trying to hit Triple-A No. 9 hitters. Kennedy got the next batter to fly out on a 1-0 changeup.
Top fourth: After two routine groundouts, Kennedy threw almost all offspeed pitches to Brad Eldred, who saw mostly fastballs in his first at-bat. The seven-pitch AB included only one fastball -- fouled off to even the count at 2 -- and Kennedy got the strikeout on a changeup.
Top fifth: Kennedy's best inning. He started Jeff Leifer with a curveball and a changeup, both of which were called strikes. He then went inside with two straight fastballs, both balls, before getting a swinging strikeout on a changeup. Kennedy really seems to be pounding inside when he has two strikes. Next batter saw four straight fastballs, all for strikes, finishing with a routine groundout on a fastball in on the hands. After two changeups for strikes to Mike Rouse, Kennedy ended the inning by getting Rouse to fly out on a fastball.
Top sixth: Nice little ovation for Kennedy, who just gave up his first hit on a lazy single to center field. It came on a 2-1 changeup to Jerry Owens. Kennedy had fallen behind 2-0 to Owens, only the second time Kennedy had been down 2-0 this game. Owens went on to steal second and take third on an error by Chris Stewart, but Kennedy stranded the runner with a fairly hard hit ball to center. The inning started with Kennedy making Paul Phillips look foolish on a breaking ball away. Pretty sure it was a slider. Phillips had no chance.
Top seventh: Brad Eldred has now struck out three times and Jeff Leifer has now struck out twice. Thsoe are the Nos. 4 and 5 hitters for Charlotte, and Kennedy has made them look like dopes.
Hard to overstate just how good Kennedy looks.
Top eighth: Kennedy's last pitch of the night might have been his best. After falling behind 3-1 to Royce Huffman, Kennedy threw a fastball that Huffman fouled off before using a changeup to send Huffman down swinging. He threw 90 pitches, 58 strikes. Heath Phillips now pitching.