3) Danny Duffy Wasn’t Great, But Wasn’t Bad
The line wasn’t great. Danny Duffy lasted 6.1 innings, giving up 6 hits, 1 walk, and 4 earned runs with 7 strikeouts. Duffy just missed out on finishing seven innings due to Jarrod Dyson’s poor read on a bloop single to center and fortunate placement on a ground ball single by Kyle Collins.
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Collins RBI pulled the Tigers to 8-4, and chased Duffy from the game.
Duffy came into the seventh inning with 84 pitches while allowing three earned runs. He was already in position to earn a quality start. In other circumstances, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost would have pulled him in favor of his strong bullpen. But, with a five-run lead, Yost tried to squeeze and extra inning from Duffy in order to spare his bullpen.
While the move didn’t work out, Duffy is consistently putting himself in position to last deep into games by cutting down on his walks. His 2 mph increase on his four-seam fastball has given him the confidence to attack batters rather than try to shave the corners on every pitch. This approach can sometimes cause him to give up home runs like he did against Kinsler on Saturday night, but has made him a much improved pitcher overall.
Sometimes, I think Danny Duffy would be better served to tease hitters a bit more with two strikes on them. But that can come later after he establishes his reputation as a strike thrower. He probably won’t earn such recognition until he finishes a full season with a low walk rate.
I don’t know where the Royals would be right now if the guy who was slated for the bullpen before the 2016 season began failed to blossom into the rotation’s best pitcher.
Next: Alcides Escobar