Kennedy Getting Used To Triple-A

Kennedy worked on his two-seamer on Wednesday

Yankee pitching prospect Ian Kennedy earned his first win in Triple-A on Wednesday night after pitching six dazzling innings of shutout ball in which he struck out nine. The start paced the Scranton Yanks to a 4-0 win over Pawtucket, but more importantly, Kennedy finally got some help from his Yankee teammates to earn his first win in Scranton.

Ian Kennedy only gave up two runs in his first two starts and was extremely impressive in his first start on July 28th, pitching six scoreless innings.

However, in his second start on August 3rd, Kennedy gave up two runs on five hits and walked two. The return to dominance revolved around a simple solution for Kennedy on Wednesday.

"I got ahead of guys a lot better this time around," he said. "Last time out, I was just falling behind way too many times. That was really the only difference."

One thing that Kennedy wanted to work on in his latest start was a two-seam fastball that he wanted to baffle Pawtucket's lineup with even more.

"I was trying to develop the two-seamer a little bit," he said. "But, I didn't strike anyone out with it. I'm just working on that to save some of my other pitches and get ground ball outs."

Getting groundouts is exactly what Kennedy did on the night. Along with his nine strikeouts, he forced eight batters into grounding out. Forcing both strikeouts and groundouts was big for the USC product.

"I would say that I was happy with both," he said. "The strikeouts happen when I got ahead and when I didn't get ahead, I forced groundouts. I was happy with a combination of both I guess."

Another factor that Kennedy attributed to his success on the night was the fact that he is finally getting used to Triple-A batters.

"Yea, I've adjusted okay," he said. "One thing I've noticed between here and Trenton is that if you get behind here, the guys hit the ball a lot more consistently."

However, Kennedy did admit that the game is played the same way at every level.

"At the same time, there really isn't that much of a difference," he said. "If you stay ahead of guys, it's the same game wherever you're at."

Kennedy also talked about his close friend Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain was promoted Monday night to the Major League club and made his debut on Tuesday. Life without Joba has been a strange for the 22-year old.

"Yea, it's been kind of different," he said. "I told Brett Gardner [Scranton outfielder] that we're going to have to call our psychologist and ask him if were going to be okay now that Joba's gone. It's weird because we were around each other all the time."

At the same time, Kennedy has added inspiration now that his close friend and fellow draft mate made the Major Leagues at such a quick rate.

"It (Joba's promotion) let's you know that your right there," he said. "It tells you your one step away. It was just really exciting that I got to see him pitch in a Yankee uniform."

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