Danny Duffy is going to Danny Duffy. I know hopes and expectations are high, especially following starts like the one last week where he dominated the Twins.
But as we saw today, he just doesn't have the consistency.
Monday was the Duffy that is familiar to us all: Electric stuff, erratic command. High pitch counts and early exits. Duffy lasted just 3.2 innings on 91 pitches. He walked four and allowed five hits. He allowed at least two baserunners each inning he worked.
Enter Will Smith.
Smith was the anti-Duffy. He needed half as many pitches as Duffy to record 13 total outs. Two more than Duffy. Oh, he also struck out eight, walked none and allowed just one hit. He delivered a first pitch strike to 13 of the 14 batters he faced.
Yeah, it was as awesome as it sounds.
At this point, do you give Smith a look at the rotation for 2014? I think you have to. He's earned it with his relief work. At the very least, if he bombs in the rotation, you shift him back to the bullpen. Add him to the arsenal and you don't miss a beat. At the very worst you discover he's a Wade Davis type of pitcher: ineffective as a starter but with a high ceiling as a reliever.
Naturally, the Royals offense was very Royals. Three runs scored. One in the fourth when Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas strung together singles. Two in the fifth on a pair of singles, a stolen base and a walk. The runs scored on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. As I said, very Royals.
Good win as Tampa and Texas lost. The Royals are now five back in the Wild Card.
A very strange paragraph to write on September 2.