Sep 6, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy (41) leaves the game in the first inning as catcher Salvador Perez (13) yells over to him in a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Danny Duffy lasted exactly one pitch in Saturday afternoon’s game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx before leaving with a sore shoulder. He was replaced by Liam Hendriks (I’m legally required to mention that Liam is a native Australian), who gave up seven hits and four runs (three earned) in the loss, which snapped the Royals four-game winning streak.
It was a strange game all the way around.
In addition to the one-pitch start by Duffy, the Royals made several mental mistakes and played shabby defense. The game was nationally televised, called by a Fox Sports crew of Tom Verducci and Darron Sutton rather than our usual announcers. Brandon Finnegan made his big league debut out of the bullpen, striking out two (including Derek Jeter) while going two hitless innings. And Ned Yost opted for a line-up that included Lorenzo Cain (0-4 with 3 strikeouts) in the leadoff spot, Josh Willingham at DH, and Carlos Peguero in right fieid.
The one thing that seemed normal? Punchless Royals bats. They managed just six hits and one walk on the day. Different line-up – same weak results.
The news wasn’t all bad. The Tigers lost to the Giants this afternoon, so the Royals are still in first by two games.
The big questions, of course, are 1) How long will Duffy be out (if he misses any starts at all); and 2) Who will replace him in the rotation?
Regarding the latter, Finnegan looked pretty good. He has a wicked curveball, and didn’t seem at all intimidated – all the more impressive when you consider the setting. Plus nobody has faced him before – a big plus.
When you consider the ineptitude of Royals hitters, it’s a minor miracle they’re in contention at all. But we know they’re capable of getting hot at the plate (hot being a relative term), and they’re due for another streak soon. I predict a break out tomorrow (you heard it here first). Tune it at noon Central – you won’t want to miss it!