5) Danny Duffy Was Really Impressive
Forget about the results. Danny Duffy is emerging as the KC Royals ace. Duffy managed to get through 6.1 innings while throwing only 80 pitches. He struck out nine and walked none.
Duffy has really learned how to command the strike zone with his power fastball and reduce his pitch count. If he can keep up the recent trend, he can work deeper into games.
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Danny Duffy really showed his maturity in the bottom of the third inning when he gave up a leadoff single to Jonathan Schoop. Third baseman Paul Janish laid down a bunt that dribbled down the first base line. Duffy and catcher Drew Butera seemed confused about who should field the ball, before Duffy picked it up—and wisely decided to hold the ball when he realized the runner had blocked his throw to first base.
A younger player might have pressed to get an out rather than allow such a weak hit, but Duffy realized he could make matters worse trying to make a low percentage play. The Orioles advanced the runners to second and third with yet another bunt, putting Duffy in jam.
However, Duff-man struck out right fielder Joey Rickard and third baseman Manny Machado to end the threat.
Right now, Duffy shows more ability to dominate than any other pitcher in the rotation. With a fastball that touches 97-mph and his new-found command, Duffy has the tools to control games. If he can improve his ability to get tough outs the third time through the order, he can take his place a top the KC Royals rotation as their ace.
Next: Ned Yost