PHOENIX -- It has been a frustrating season for Ian Kennedy.
Every time the right-hander appears poised to go on a consistent run of good outings, he seems to hit a speed bump.
That, along with Kennedy's workload the past couple of seasons, has led some to speculate that maybe the D-backs should consider shutting him down before the end of the season. The club could then give his starts to one of its young starters, like right-hander Trevor Bauer, who's currently in Triple-A Reno.
Kennedy wants no part of that.
"Is that a joke?" Kennedy said when asked about the possibility. "If that was the case, I feel like there are a lot of guys that could just mail it in -- you know, just say, 'I don't have it this year, I'll see you guys next year.' That wouldn't work. Part of our job is we have to go out there even when we fail."
Kennedy's velocity has been down at times this year, but he insists that there is nothing physically wrong.
"Honestly, it's crazy and it's frustrating, but my arm feels really good," Kennedy said. "That's what drives me nuts. I feel really good and I'm not having success. It's just part of this game. It's a humbling game."
Last year, it seemed Kennedy could do no wrong, as he went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting.
Through 26 starts this year, Kennedy is 11-11 with a 4.44 ERA. He pointed to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and the Giants' Matt Cain as two pitchers who have been able to sustain success year in and year out, something that he is striving to do.
"I mean there's only a handful of those guys," Kennedy said. "I would like to be at that point. I showed to myself last year that I can do it, but this game is humbling. But it's not easy. You've got to constantly grind through the season. I always knew that, but you get spoiled by what happened last year."