Danny Duffy has had a rough year. He recently had a stretch of 3 starts with pretty good results, at least as far as runs went. There were plenty of questions about his actual execution and some warning signs and internet arguments were had. Today’s start will elicit very little argument.
Duffy pitched seven shutout innings while striking out ten and allowing only three hits. He did walk three which would not be noteworthy except that he’s walked a lot of guys this season; batters are reaching base via free pass about twice as often as they have in the last two seasons. But you can afford to walk three when you’re striking everyone else out.
Chris Bassitt made his first big league start since 2016 after compiling an ERA of 6.10 in the AAA, this season. Predictably he pitched very well himself but he couldn’t match Duffy. He pitched 7 innings but only struck out 6 and allowed a single run. That run came in the second inning when Ryan Goins lined a double down the rightfield line before Paulo Orlando singled up the middle. Fortunately for the Royals, the proved to be all the offense they needed.
There was an interesting play in the fourth inning where Paulo grounded to the shortstop with two outs and Alcides Escobar at second. Marcus Semien made a bad throw to first but Matt Olson was ruled to have tagged Orlando. Meanwhile, Escobar raced home where he was ruled to be thrown out by Matt Olson. The Royals challenged both ends of the play and Paulo was ruled safe by throwing error fairly easily but the call on Escobar stood and the inning ended all the same.
Mike McCarthy pitched a perfect eighth. Alex Gordon added an insurance run with a long solo home run in the top of the ninth. Kelvin Herrera closed the game out with a pair of strikeouts for his fourteenth save of the season; he also still hasn’t walked anyone. This was the Royals first win on the road trip and they will attempt to salvage a series split, tomorrow, when rookie Brad Keller will face off against former friend Sean Manaea.