The first time he faced his former team, Padres starter Ian Kennedy admitted it impacted him on the mound.
The second time he did it, it felt normal.
So when the right-hander strolls to the Petco Park mound to face the Arizona Diamondbacks and Brandon McCarthy on Saturday night it will be just another start for him.
"You kind of get adapted to a different team quickly," said Kennedy, who was dealt from Arizona to San Diego just prior to the Trade Deadline last year.
Kennedy joined the D-backs prior to the 2010 season and won 21 games and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2011.
However 2012 did not go as well for him and when he struggled to start 2013, the D-backs began to entertain offers for him, eventually dealing him for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher and Minor League reliever Matt Stites.
The trade hit Kennedy hard at the time, but as a man of enormous faith he trusted it was all for the best.
"No matter what you're going through you feel like I'm supposed to be going through this, but I don't know why," Kennedy said. "I don't know why I'm supposed to be struggling, I don't know why I'm traded, but then I feel like there's a higher power in charge of all that. He moved me to San Diego for some reason and I'm enjoying it, staying in Coronado, it's not too bad."
Kennedy has pitched well since coming over to the Padres and he praised his new manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley for helping him.
Kennedy's former catcher, Miguel Montero, said he always believed that Kennedy was a good pitcher.
"It doesn't really surprise me that he's throwing the ball good," Montero said. "We knew he was good. Obviously he had a bad year last year. I did, too. That doesn't mean that we [stink]. We have bad times in the game. He's a good pitcher when he's locating his fastball, when his command there.
"Even if you're familiar with him, it's going to be hard to hit him because he's got such a nice delivery and has all his pitches. When he's mixing speeds and throwing his breaking ball for strikes and expanding with his breaking ball and fastball, he's not a comfortable at-bat."
D-backs: McCarthy deserved win
McCarthy pitched well enough to win last time out, but instead walked away with a loss.
The right-hander held the Phillies to just two runs over seven innings of work, but the offense let him down as Arizona fell, 2-0.
"If he keeps throwing the ball like that we're going to win some of those games," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He threw the ball very well and hopefully this time around it will be the same."
Padres: Waiting on offense, waiting on Quentin
Because it's terribly difficult to make trades of note early in the season, the Padres won't likely find a fit to help their ailing offense through trade.
The best hope to lift a team that's averaging 2.66 runs per game is internally, according to general manager Josh Byrnes.
"More than likely, we have to fix it with the guys we have here," Byrnes said.
The good news for the team is that outfielder Carlos Quentin -- out since Spring Training with a bone bruise in his left knee -- starts a Minor League rehab stint today with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. He might not be there long. Manager Bud Black alluded to possibly three or four games.
The Padres could also get third baseman Chase Headley, out with a strained right calf, back as soon as May 9. He ran for the first time Friday and is already taking part in baseball activities.
• McCarthy is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three career starts against the Padres. He lost his lone start at Petco Park was Sept. 23, 2013, when he allowed four earned runs over six innings.
• Since joining the Padres last season, Kennedy is 6-5 with a 3.82 ERA in 16 starts.
• D-backs outfielder Gerardo Parra is 3-for-5 in his career against Kennedy, while Cody Ross is just 4-for-17.
• D-backs pitchers set a franchise record for most strikeouts in March/April with 252. The previous mark was 230 set in 2002 by a pitching staff that included Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling.
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.