May’s Top Performances
After an atrocious April, the Kansas City Royals improved significantly in May. A 15-14 record in the season’s second month helped stabilize a campaign that appeared headed for disaster.
Even still, the offense had yet to find its groove. That means the month still featured more great pitching performances than offensive ones.
Nate Karns on May 3 vs. White Sox
This is the kind of performance that had few people questioning the offseason Jarrod Dyson trade that brought Karns to the Kansas City Royals—at least until his season-ending injury.
On this date, Karns made easy work of American League Central Division rival Chicago. He only allowed one hit and one walk each in six shutout innings. Karns even fanned seven batters in the 6-1 victory.
Duffy on May 18 vs. Yankees
This is Duffy’s second early appearance on this list. This one went even better than his outstanding April start against the Angels.
In this 5-1 win, Duffy punched out 10, while allowing just three hits and a pair of walks. Against a team that ended up reaching the American League Championship Series, Duffy showed over seven innings how he can be among the league’s best when on his game.
Whit Merrifield on May 29 vs. Tigers
In case you had forgotten, this list isn’t just meant for great pitching performances. That’s how bad the Kansas City Royals offense was through the first few months.
Merrifield makes the first appearance for an offensive player with his great showing in a 10-7 loss to Detroit. The second baseman finished 3 for 4 with three runs and two RBI. All three of his hits went for extra bases—one double, one triple and one home run.
Eric Skoglund on May 30 vs. Tigers
The following night, the Royals got the better of the Tigers. Once again, the victory came courtesy of a stellar pitching performance. This one came from the unlikeliest of sources.
Rookie Eric Skoglund made his MLB debut and promptly befuddled Detroit over 6 1/3 scoreless frames. His five strikeouts, two hits allowed and one walk weren’t the most impressive numbers of the season. But given the circumstances, it might have been the best individual performance of the year.