KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 16: Danny Duffy #23 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers, quiet determination blanketing his steely visage. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Despite working his pitch count up to 131 pitches, the Royals were unable to capitalize on ninth inning wildness from Tigers ace, Justin Verlander. Alex Gordon left the bases loaded on a backwards K, watching a borderline called strike near the inside corner go by with the tying run 90 feet from home plate.
Unlike the previous four losses in the now five-game losing streak the Royals find themselves entrenched in, this loss was not one of the soul-crushing variety. Being bested by Verlander, who struck out nine while allowing just ten Royals baserunners all night, is something the Royals have come to expect.
The unfortunate thing about this loss is that a perfectly good start from the southpaw pottery enthusiast Danny Duffy was squandered. After a rough first in which Duffy allowed a lead-off home run and had two on and no outs with Prince Fielder standing in the batter's box, a rough game seemed all but certain. Duffy induced a ground ball double-play and a weakly hit fly out from the bat of Delmon Young and began to cruise. He allowed a lead-off double in the top of the fifth to Jhonny Peralta--who had Duffy's number all night--and Brandon Inge homered two batters later giving the Tigers a two-run lead again, but other than that, Duffy was in control. In 6 2/3 innings, Duffy struck out seven, walked one, and allowed seven hits. Against one of the better offenses in the American League, Duffy more than held his own.
Yes, the Royals lost, but there were actually encouraging signs to come from this loss.