Duffy on his last start against Indians: ‘I try to forget it’
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It wasn’t Friday the 13th, but it was a nightmare nonetheless for Danny Duffy.
On May 13, the Kansas City Royals 29-year-old left-hander took the mound at Progressive Field in Cleveland. After 87 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, Duffy was finished.
“What do I remember from the last one?” Duffy said. “I try to forget it. It was probably the worst start I’ve had in a long time.”
To say it was bad would be an understatement. Duffy gave up nine runs, eight hits and five walks and hit a batter. He yielded a three-run homer to Jose Ramirez in the second inning.
Manager Ned Yost mercifully replaced him in the third when Yan Gomes belted Duffy’s final pitch over the center-field fence with two runners on base.
Duffy gets a chance for a reprieve on Tuesday when he faces the Indians in the second game of the three-game series.
“I’m looking forward to getting out there,” he said. “It’s another challenge and I’m up for it. I’m going to do everything I can to execute every pitch and stay within my strengths.”
Duffy has not fared well against the Indians in his career. He is 2-8 with a 5.06 ERA, surrendering 39 earned runs in 69 1/3 inning in 17 career outings, 13 of them starts.
This season, he is 4-7 with a 4.94 ERA in 17 starts, allowing 95 hits, walking 46 and hitting two batters in 94 2/3 innings.
Opponents are batting .259 against Duffy. That breaks down to .264 by right-handed batters and .233 by left-handed batters. Lefties have hit .188 against Duffy since 2016.
Duffy has pitched better recently. He began the year 1-6 with a 6.88 ERA in his first 10 starts, giving up 39 earned runs in 51 innings. He is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his past seven starts, allowing 13 earned runs across 43 2/3 innings.
In his last start, Duffy picked up a 5-4 decision over the Milwaukee Brewers on the road. He permitted one run, five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings. He stranded two runners in the first and third inning. Jesus Aguilar’s home run in the sixth was the only run Duffy allowed.
Duffy will be looking for his first Kauffman Stadium victory this season. He is 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA in six home starts. His last home victory was Aug. 22, 2017.
The Indians, who won the series opener 9-3 with Francisco Lindor driving in a career-high seven runs, will counter with rookie right-hander Shane Bieber, who is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his first four career starts.
“I just want to go out there and continue what I’ve been doing so far,” Bieber said. “That’s just throwing three or four pitches for strikes and getting ahead, and trying to put guys away when I can.
“Really, it’s just a matter of trusting (catchers) Yan (Gomes) or Berto (Roberto Perez). They always know exactly what they’re doing, in case I don’t. They make up for my lack of experience.”
Bieber has plus breaking pitches.
“Right now, I’m relying on the slider and curveball,” he said. “I’ll use the fastball if they’re sitting on those two. I feel comfortable throwing those three especially. My change-up is a work in progress. All my pitches are a work in progress, obviously, but that one especially.
“Keeping them off balance with all three or four pitches is the best thing. If I can do that, things will be a little bit easier. That’s the goal for every starting pitcher.”