So here’s the thing with Danny Duffy.
He’s a good dude. He works hard. He’s very talented.
But like... woof.
Duffy was blown apart again on Sunday, becoming the third Royals starting pitcher in the last five games to allow nine runs, as Kansas City was smashed by Cleveland 11-2. It was the second straight series that the Royals took the first game of, only to drop the last two and wind up losing the set.
They were never in this game, either. Duffy got 10 outs and gave up nine runs, lasting just 3.1 innings. The Indians had a five-run second inning capped with a home run by Jose Ramirez. Francisco Lindor, because of course, added another run with an RBI single in the third to make it 6-0. The knockout punch came when Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer in the fourth, with Duffy still in the game, to blow it open at 9-0.
Ned Yost did that thing that he did with Ian Kennedy three nights ago and Jason Hammel two nights ago. It’s like he just watches as a guy struggles and loads baserunner after baserunner onto the diamond, but he waits until after the backbreaking home run to go get the guy.
And seriously, Yan Gomes. Francisco Lindor did his thing again with three more hits, but at least he’s consistently good against everybody. Yan Gomes is as plain and mediocre as catchers come, yet of course he banged out four hits and three RBI. Whether it’s Cy Mike Clevinger or Silver Slugger finalist Yan Gomes, the inner Willie Mays comes out of at least one average Indian player every time the Royals come to town.
As for Duffy, I dunno what’s wrong. He’s routinely been a tad overrated among Royals fans because of his likable personality, but he’s never been like this. It’s mid-May and his ERA is 6.51. He’s allowing more than one home run every four innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio isn’t even 2:1. He’s allowing nearly 1.7 baserunners every inning. Some people think he’s hurt, and he might be. But they can’t keep trotting Danny Duffy in his current state out there every five days, because he is absolutely atrocious right now.
Showing Kansas City what a real ace looks like, Corey Kluber allowed two runs, but they were both unearned, in 7.0 innings of work. He is 6-2.
Duffy allowed nine runs on eight hits and five walks in 3.1 innings. He took the loss, dropping him to 1-5. The one win was in a game his offense gave him 10 runs in the first inning. Yuck.
Oh yeah, I have to give major props to Cleveland manager Terry Francona. In the ninth inning with one out, he brought in his best reliever in Andrew Miller. Clearly, the 11-2 game was in doubt, and that piece of managerial genius sealed the victory. /emphatic eyeroll
The Royals scored their two runs in the sixth inning. Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield had RBI hits when the score was already 9-0.
Now 14 games under .500, the Royals have essentially undone all of the progress they made by going 7-3 after the 5-20 start. They are 13-27 on the year.
Up next: Tampa Bay comes to town for a three-game stretch with the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. It’s a six-game homestand with the Yankees coming into Kansas City after that.