Daniel Richard Duffy was the most gnar he has ever been, throwing eight scoreless innings and pitching into the ninth to defeat the Chicago White Sox 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.
Cain and Orlando went homo with a pair of majestic dongs. It was the second consecutive game in which Lorenzo Cain has gone a-donging, and it was Paulo Orlando's third hanging in his last seven games in which he received a plate appearance.
And as much as I desire to go on and on about that, the real story was Danny Duffy. In a game that pitted him against perennial All-Star and Cy Young contender Chris Sale, Duffy out-dueled the fellow southpaw consistently. He scattered five hits and a walk, only really running into trouble in the sixth inning.
The White Sox had two on with no out. A sacrifice bunt that nearly got away from Omar Infante covering first moved the runners into scoring position. Jose Abreu came to the plate, and Duffy came to play. In a 1-2 count, Duffy threw three consecutive breaking balls to Abreu, who fouled off each pitch. The fourth pitch was a high fastball that Abreu chased up and out of the zone for a strikeout.
Then Melky Cabrera came to the plate, and this happened:
Duff tossing filth today... https://t.co/9rT8lBAgBd— Steve McCleary (@SteveMcCleary) July 19, 2015
As bad as Eric Hosmer's swing was yesterday, this is the worst swing I have seen a professional hitter make this season. And if the embarrassment of being made the fool wasn't enough, Cabrera proceeded to strike out looking on the next pitch, which was nearly identical to a called strike earlier in the at-bat.
The Royals got the scoring started in the first again, this time on a trio of singles, capped by Eric Hosmer's dunk shot into shallow center field. Lorenzo Cain then hung his aforementioned dong into left field in the sixth. Following Cabrera's Confederacy of Dunces homage in the bottom of the sixth, Alex Rios singled in the seventh and was brought home on Paulo Orlando's shot to deep left center.
Chris Sale was equal parts well-navigated and unmoored, tying a career high with eleven hits given up, but striking out six and walking only one batter in 6.1 innings.
Duffy started the ninth, but after yielding a home run to Tyler Saladino, Joe Blanton closed out the game for the Royals, who were able to get by using only two pitchers a day after burning their bullpen in a thirteen inning marathon. The defense was also on full display, punctuated by Alcides Escobar making a deep short jump throw to end the game:
Thanks be to Duffy, Beard of the Most Gnar. Alhamdulillah.