ARLINGTON -- D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy was glued to the television Wednesday night, watching his good friend, Giants right-hander Matt Cain, toss the 22nd perfect game in baseball history.
"I put myself in that situation, and I was real surprised how every single pitch he seemed like really cool and calm in the dugout," Kennedy said. "That's the way he pitches all the time. In an interview, he said inside he was just going crazy."
Kennedy said his friendship with Cain developed during offseason Bible study sessions. The pair live in the Phoenix area.
"I really, really respect him, just how he pitches and how he flies under the radar, which I feel like he does," Kennedy said. "I just always watched him because we were around the same age -- he was a year older -- and watching him pitch, you can really respect that. His command is really good, and I didn't realize how many times he had no-hitters through the seventh. It just shows that yesterday was really something special, I feel like."
Kennedy has had a couple of brushes with no-hitters in his pitching career.
The closest he came was when he was pitching for the University of Southern California, and he had a no-hitter until there were two outs in the ninth. A Kansas University batter wound up blooping in a single to end it.
Then while pitching in Triple-A for the Yankees, Kennedy was once again one out away from a no-hitter. This time, though, there were two outs in the seventh inning, because it was a doubleheader and in the Minor Leagues, doubleheaders consist of a pair of seven-inning games.
"The last out would have been a ground ball to the second baseman, but he made an error," Kennedy said. "Two pitches later, it was a double off the wall. I'd rather give up a no-hitter on something like that rather than a bloop hit."
Neither of those, though, can compare to what Cain accomplished.
"Doing it at the big league level would be so much better and so much more prestigious," Kennedy said. "And a perfect game is way harder to do."