In a Wednesday afternoon game, the Detroit Tigers spoiled the Kansas City Royals’ attempts to win a second consecutive series. Despite the 8-4 score, most of the game was a noncompetitive drubbing. The Royals bullpen was fine, but every other aspect of their game was...not.
One of the great stories of this year has been Danny Duffy’s redemption from a truly awful start. After his start on May 19, Duffy sported an unsightly 6.88 ERA. In his next 11 starts, Duffy chopped more than two full runs off that figure, lowering it to 4.40 in a truly ace-like stretch of performances.
Today, however, Duffy suffered a setback. A hacking Tigers lineup peppered Duffy with hits left and right, many of which were of the extra base variety. While Duffy’s slow start put a damper on his midseason trade value, today’s performance almost guaranteed that Duffy would be a Royal through the end of this year.
Duffy began the game well enough, churning through the first three batters in the first inning without pause. But a John Hicks double and a Victor Martinez single to lead off the second inning plated Detroit’s first run of the game. Duffy navigated a two-out double in the third inning before running into a brick wall of a fourth inning, after a walk and four hits resulted in an additional four runs. Jose Iglesias struck the biggest blow, crushing a three-run home run, only his fourth of the season and the 20th in his seven year big league career.
The Tigers chased Duffy from the game after he allowed Detroit’s sixth and seventh runs to score. Duffy struck out six and only walked two in his 5.2 innings of work, but doing that and also allowing nine hits is a recipe for allowing a bunch of runs, and would you know it that did indeed happen.
For their part, the Royals began the game by collecting a fair amount of hits of their own. Lo, Danger Ox doubled home Hunter Dozier to tie the score at one in the bottom of the second inning. But the Royals couldn’t string enough hits together to score more, not with a collective plate discipline that resulted in zero walks and five strikeouts through the first four innings. Mike Moustakas cracked a double of his own to score Whit Merrifield in the fifth inning, but that second run would be all the Royals scraped together.
Jason Adam allowed a run in the top of the ninth inning, and the Royals managed to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but all that was garbage time and didn’t change anything.
With today’s loss, the Royals are 31-70. Tomorrow, they start a four game series against the hilariously overpowered New York Yankees in the bandbox of Yankee Stadium. What could go wrong?