Ian Kennedy is the anchor of the Arizona Diamondbacks rotation and his performance often sets the tone for the rest of the pitching staff.
The D-backs' hurler said he wants to be the guy the team looks to when they need a boost or to right the ship when the chips are down.
"You do the best you possibly can but you know if there's a losing streak going on, you're like ‘I am going to pitch today or tomorrow and I am going to try to do my best to end that' and a lot of times the other guy you're facing pitches a little bit better than you but you try your best and you know you may step up to the occasion," Kennedy told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Show on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old right-hander went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 198 strikeouts during his breakout campaign in 2011, but appeared to come back to earth in 2012. Kennedy posted a 15-12 record with a 4.02 ERA and 187 strikeouts last season, but struggled to find consistency.
The D-backs' ace said that he doesn't feel any pressure to prove he can regain his 2011 form to anyone, but himself.
"This offseason I wanted to prove to myself I can do it again and pitch like that consistently and if I considered last year a rough year and if I can win 15 games and go 200 innings and do an ok job and that's a rough year, I'll take it," Kennedy said.
The D-backs' right-hander said he isn't content with his performance thus far, and he's always striving to improve.
"I want to be better," Kennedy stated. "I don't want to be happy pitching like that. I want to be happy pitching, winning more games and knowing that our team won more games when I was on the mound."