You just don't expect this to continue. Not with these two guys.
Who would have thought at the beginning of this season that two of the elite starters in the National League, Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants and Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks, would be a combined 1-4 at this point in late April as they prepare to face each other in a series opener between the two NL West rivals at Chase Field on Monday?
Cain just hasn't been himself. He's 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA (21 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings) and a .261 batting average against (30-for-115) in five starts. Since pitching six scoreless innings in his first start of the season against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Cain is 0-2 with an ERA of 8.34.
One positive might be the fact that he pitched relatively well in his last start, which was also against Arizona. That outing, which came last Tuesday night in San Francisco, resulted in a no-decision in a game the Giants would eventually lose in 11 innings, but Cain qualified for a quality start by pitching six innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits.
Cain is seasoned enough to not make any excuses, and he didn't mince words, even after that slight improvement.
"I'm putting the guys in a hole," Cain said.
Kennedy at least has one victory this season, but he, too, is not where he wants to be. He's 0-2 with a 5.32 ERA in his last four starts.
Then again, he's also coming off a promising effort ... against the Giants. Kennedy gave up one earned run in six innings against San Francisco in his last start on Wednesday in San Francisco and has gone 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 14 career starts against the Giants. His 2.33 ERA against San Francisco is third-best among all active pitchers (minimum 10 starts), trailing Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers (1.28) and Mat Latos (2.19) of the Reds.
Giants: Road woes continue
With the Giants' loss in San Diego on Sunday, San Francisco has now lost six consecutive games on the road and is 5-8 this season away from home. Last season the Giants were tied for the third-highest winning percentage in the Majors on the road with a 46-35 record (.568). This is the first time San Francisco has lost six straight road games since April 10-16, 2009.
• After hitting just .213 (10-for-47) in his first 14 games this season, catcher and reigning NL MVP Buster Posey has hit safely in each of his last nine games, batting .400 (12-for-30) with six extra-base hits and nine RBIs.
• The Giants have made six errors in their last five games. San Francisco had made only nine errors in its prior 20 games.
D-backs: Parra on par
Outfielder Gerardo Parra, who owns a career-high 13-game hitting streak, has reached base safely in 24 of 25 games while hitting safely in 22. He's one of three players to collect a hit in at least 21 games, joining Baltimore's Adam Jones (22) and Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury (21).
• Arizona is 6-0 in extra-inning games in 2013, matching its most extra-inning games in a single month (also June 2007). The D-backs are hitting .304 (17-for-56) in extra innings, compared to a .246 mark (203-for-824) in regulation.
• Shortstop Didi Gregorius, who went on the seven-day disabled list Sunday, has hit safely in his first seven games with Arizona, tied for the fifth-longest streak by a D-back to start a season (also Miguel Montero from April 1-9, 2011). The longest D-backs hitting streak to start a season is 10, shared by Willie Bloomquist (April 1-15, 2011), Danny Bautista (April 1-12, 2002) and Steve Finley (April 4-13, 2000).
• Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford has hit a team-high five home runs this season, which are also a career high. Crawford entered the season with seven career homers.
• Eighteen of Arizona's 25 games have been decided by two runs or fewer. The D-backs are 10-8 in those games: 7-4 in one-run games and 3-4 in two-run games.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.