Perception can be an interesting thing. Depending on the side that one is on, the same outcome can have two different reactions. For a team that decimates the opponent, it was obviously a positive outcome, whereas the opposite holds true for the team that was shut down. The same holds true for Danny Duffy‘s outing on Tuesday for the KC Royals.
At first, it would not seem as though Duffy had that great of an outing. After all, he gave up four earned runs, surrendered a home run and had a run scoring wild pitch. Those numbers are not exactly the type that inspire confidence that Duffy is getting back to form.
However, that may actually be the case. Duffy, for only the third time this season, pitched into the seventh inning. In his 6.2 innings of work, Duffy only threw 97 pitches. His last 97 pitch outing, on May 11th, resulted in Duffy only lasting 3.2 innings. It is a sign that, while the results may not have been what he wanted, Duffy was, at least to a degree, attacking the Astros lineup.
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That ability to attack the opposition is what made Danny Duffy into the pitcher he was last year. The results certainly speak for themselves, as Duffy posted a 2.53 ERA and a 1.112 WHiP in 2014 while appearing to establish himself as one of the pitchers that could lead the Kansas City Royals into the latter half of the decade.
This season, that run of success just has not been there. Even if we ignore his 2-4 record, especially since his 9-12 record belied his solid performance in 2014, Duffy’s 5.44 ERA and 1.631 WHiP are hardly encouraging. Those strides that Duffy made last season, when he finally tapped into his promise, appeared to be gone.
Now, even if it is one start, there are signs of that progress Duffy made last year returning. The overall box score may not look promising, but the way Duffy pitched certainly was. Of course, this may simply be a matter of the Astros swinging at virtually anything close to the strike zone, but it was still promising to see Duffy pitch that deep into the game.
Danny Duffy took a step forward with his outing on Thursday. Hopefully, he can continue to make strides and get back to being the pitcher that the KC Royals need him to be.