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Pirates Vs. Diamondbacks, 17 April 2012

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April 12, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA;  Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (31) throws during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.  Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
April 12, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (31) throws during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Karstens vs. Ian Kennedy. Facing Kennedy shouldn't make the Pirates' lives any easier. As David pointed out on Twitter earlier today, it's hard to make excuses for the Pirates' offense on the basis of their having faced great pitching recently -- yes, they faced Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw early on, but in the past five games, they've faced Chris Capuano, Matt Cain, Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Joe Saunders. Cain's terrific, but the other four hardly are. Now the Bucs have to go back to facing pitchers who are genuinely good -- Kennedy tonight, and Daniel Hudson tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Pirates' offense is worst in the majors by a frightening distance. They have 19 runs. Oakland's offense is the second-worst with 28.