Duffy Exits Early, Hendriks Wears Ugly Loss to Yankees
Danny Duffy's final pitch count would be.... One. After throwing the first pitch, Duffy shook his arm rather awkwardly, and third baseman Mike Moustakas motioned for Ned Yost and Nick Kenny to come have a look at the Royals young lefty. Duffy left the game, and they determined in the second inning that it was because of left shoulder soreness. I don't mean to alarm anybody, but.... Shoulder injuries are much worse than elbow injuries.
Liam Hendriks, who replaced Yordano Ventura nine days ago, came in to replace Duffy. Last time out, Hendriks pitched seven complete innings, and only gave up one earned run. Today's start for the Australian native would not go nearly as well. Hendriks gave up an earned run in the first on a Mark Texeira RBI-single. In the third, RBI's by Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury gave the Bombers their third run. The fourth run would come on a throw away by Sal Perez, and the fifth and sixth would come in the bottom of the fifth on RBI's bye Carlos Beltran and Ichiro Suzuki.
It was obvious after the Yanks scored their fifth and sixth runs that Ned Yost was just going to save the bullpen a few innings of work, and let Liam Hendriks wear this one until the sixth inning. Yost brought in Brandon Finnegan for the sixth inning to make his Major League debut. Finnegan entered the game and got three straight outs, including two strikeouts, one of Derek Jeter.
As for the Royals offense.... There was none. Well, there were two on Alex Gordon's RBI-single, and a Mike Moustakas sac fly, but other than that, Kansas City's offense was depressing. The best plate appearance on the day was a walk. It was Alex Gordon's first PA of the day, and he was down 0-2, and he came back to walk. Every at-bat after that, with the exception of when the Royals scored a run in the top of the third inning, and very few at-bats after the fact, looked like the Royals simply did not care to be at this game.
It wasn't just the offense that appeared absent today. The defense also looked lethargic and slow. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, let me paint a picture for you, and those of you that have dogs should know what I mean. You know when you take your dog to the vet to have surgery, and the ladies in the front bring your dog out to see you, and they've just woken up, and are still under a heavy bit of anesthetic? Well, you grab your dog, and you take them home, and you let them run around, but they can't get their legs to move fast enough, so they kinda just stumble around, and eventually run into a wall. Every single guy on that team looked absolutely defeated.
If indeed Danny Duffy does need to miss a significant amount of time with this "shoulder discomfort" Brandon Finnegan would be a very good option. Finnegan pitched twenty-seven innings in the minors this year, only gave up four earned runs, and struck out twenty-six batters. Though the organization has converted him to a reliever, it shouldn't be too late for Finnegan to make the switch back.
The series will conclude tomorrow with Yordano Ventura going against Shane Greene. Greene's last start had an abrupt end to it when Boston scored six earned runs off of him in 2 2/3 innings. Ventura's last start was one where he gave up two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.
The Tigers lost today, so the Royals lost no ground in the American League Central race. Kansas City will hope to have their offense alert tomorrow in order to manage a series win against the Bronx Bombers.