Kennedy catches early flight to get good night sleep

Kennedy catches early flight to get good night sleep

NEW YORK -- Ian Kennedy left for Denver ahead of his teammates, with his commercial flight scheduled to leave before Thursday's night game with the Yankees started.

The D-backs have a night game in Denver on Friday and are likely to arrive in the Mile High city sometime in the wee hours of the morning. So with Kennedy starting, the team wanted to make sure he got a good night's sleep.

"Hope it works," manager Kirk Gibson said. "The altitude has some effect on some guys. Maybe he gets a better night sleep. I tend not to sleep my first night there. We'll get in late, it's going to be cold there and stuff."

Flying the next day's pitcher ahead of the team if there's a late game is a common practice on some teams, but it's not something the D-backs have done under Gibson. Maybe that changes if Kennedy pitches well Friday.

"Usually we don't do that," Gibson said. "It will be on a case-by-case basis. I told Ian there's a lot of pressure on him."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.