Ian Kennedy won't be attending next week's All-Star festivities after failing to receive enough fan support in Final Vote.
Facing the St. Louis Cardinals again, however, could be even more troubling for the hard-throwing right-hander.
Looking to avenge the worst outing of his career, Kennedy takes the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks as they continue this four-game set in St. Louis on Friday night.
Kennedy, who went 8-2 with a 3.01 ERA over his first 17 starts, was among five candidates competing for the final spot on the NL All-Star roster. Laboring through his latest outing, though, surely hurt his cause.
He followed up a four-run, eight-inning effort on June 27 against Cleveland by yielding seven runs and a season-high 10 hits in 5 2-3 frames of Sunday's 7-2 loss at Oakland.
"It's frustrating," Kennedy, who had gone 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA during his previous seven road starts, told the Diamondbacks' official website. "I feel like I've been throwing really well. (Sunday), this is my second-worst outing of the year. I've had one worse than this.
"It's frustrating because you feel like you try to stay consistent and you have an outing like this, it kind of just makes you more hungry. I just want to pitch five days from now."
While he's eager to get back on the mound, the Cardinals (47-42) may also be eager to face Kennedy (8-3, 3.38 ERA). In his only appearance against them, he yielded a career-worst nine runs and seven hits in three innings of a 15-5 defeat April 13.
"I was off on pretty much everything," Kennedy said afterward. "The command, the curveball was getting over but nothing else was getting over. I was really battling against myself. It was pretty bad. This is by far the worst outing I've had in a long time."
The Cardinals, though, weren't able to get much going offensively during Thursday's 4-1 loss.
"The whole game was not a standout game," said manager Tony La Russa, whose club dropped into a first-place tie with Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Lance Berkman, who hit four of his NL-leading 23 homers and drove in 10 during April's three-game set at Chase Field, finds himself in the midst of a 1-for-12 (.083) slump over his last four contests after going 0 for 4.
Albert Pujols went hitless in three at-bats and is 1 for 9 in two games since returning from a broken left wrist more than a month ahead of schedule.
While two of St. Louis' best players were quieted Thursday, Arizona's lone All-Star representative Justin Upton hit his third homer in eight games. He's batting .353 with two long balls during a modest five-game hitting streak against the Cardinals.
Upton will look to extend his run against Kyle Lohse (8-5, 2.97), who also has experienced a bit of difficulty after a tremendous start. Since going 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA in his first 11 starts, the right-hander is 1-3 with a 4.89 ERA during his last six.
Lohse had gone 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA over six career outings against Arizona prior to allowing seven runs and eight hits in three innings of a 9-7 road loss April 20, 2010.