Little Nora Rose Kennedy will have quite a story to tell all the kids at school one day.
It starts with the time her father Ian went head to head with a baseball giant named Cliff Lee and the big bad Phillies and walked away with a 4-0 complete-game victory the day after she was born.
But this tall tale is real. The pitcher described it as surreal. It was also historic. Monday's complete game was the first of Kennedy's career.
And it really doesn't matter if the kids in class believe it or not. Baby Kennedy will have game ball and lineup card to prove it.
"To do that, I get really emotional when I start thinking about it being the day after she was born," said the pitcher, who struck out 10 and didn't walk a batter. "I did it for my little Easter baby and for my wife who did it all. She's a champ."
Kennedy left the team in the middle of a series against the Mets in New York on Saturday and landed in Phoenix several hours before his daughter arrived early Sunday morning. He admitted to being sleep-deprived but showed no signs of fatigue on the mound.
In fact, the D-backs right-hander retired nine hitters in a row after giving up a one-out double to Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco, the game's second batter, in the first inning. In the fourth frame, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins hit a one-out single and Kennedy sat down the next seven hitters.
"That was very nice. It's just what we needed," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We beat a very good pitcher, a very good team. We played a clean game and took advantage of certain things that were available to us tonight. ... We have not had a game like that this year and Ian really showed us what it's like when it happens that way."
But Kennedy did not do it alone.
Third baseman Ryan Roberts led off the bottom of the third with a single, the D-backs' first hit of the game, but Lee responded by striking out the next two hitters, Gerardo Parra and Kennedy. Both went down looking.
Lee's first pitch to Young was quite a sight. Young, who was in the middle of an 0-for-13 skid, connected on the 93 mph fastball and drove it over the wall in center field for a 2-0 lead.
"He's a great pitcher," Young said of Lee. "We took advantage of a few mistakes and that was pretty much the ballgame. We had a pitcher that goes out there and throws a shutout. It doesn't take much [offense]."
There was not much offense by either club. The teams exchanged zeros in the fourth and Kennedy sat down the Phillies in order in the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the inning, Roberts drove a Lee pitch to the wall in right field for the first out. The next batter, Parra, drove the first pitch from Lee over the wall in left field to push the D-backs ahead, 3-0.
"He pitched great," Lee said. "To shut down our lineup like that you have to be doing something right. I wouldn't have expected him to go nine innings without letting up a run. That was impressive. He did a great job tonight and that's that."
The D-backs tacked on another run in the sixth inning when Justin Upton raced home from second base on a single to left field by Xavier Nady. Upton reached on a walk -- Lee's first walk of the game and only fourth free pass of the season -- and stole second base. He scored easily for a 4-0 lead.
"We waited him out and we capitalized on the pitches over the plate," Upton said. "He was hitting corners, but we got a few pitches over the big part of the plate and we were able to hit them."
As for Kennedy, he maintained his focus, although he later admitted to thinking of his newborn daughter in between innings and sometimes in between pitches. He also knew he had to rush to the hospital and then to his house to prepare for Tuesday's official homecoming after the game ended.
It took Kennedy exactly two hours and four minutes to dismantle the Philadelphia offense Monday. His daughter was born at 2:04 a.m. on Sunday.
"I can't describe it to someone that's never experienced it," he said. "Some people didn't know if I would be ready to pitch today, but I knew I could do it."
Source- MLB.com Gameday | dbacks.com: Gameday