Danny Duffy had yet another nice start to lower his ERA to 0.39 after four starts.
Big Picture: The Royals clinched their wrap-around series in Detroit Sunday with a 4-0 win. The Royals are 7-3 in the last ten games to match the Chicago White Sox. The lead remains at 1 1/2 games heading into Monday.
What Is A Good Start? Danny Duffy hasn’t allowed many runs in 2021. He has an ERA of 0.39. That’s incredible, right? Maybe.
What’s the trade-off between runs allowed and innings pitched for a starting pitcher? Duffy has allowed three runs in four starts. You can’t argue against that. That’s great. But is it enough?
If a basketball player shoots 70% from the field, many would argue that he is not shooting enough. That’s because nobody shoots 70% from the field. Maybe he is passing up shots he needs to take.
Well, I would argue that if a pitcher has a 0.39 ERA, he is not pitching enough innings. Duffy pitched six innings in his first three starts and five innings on Sunday.
It’s hard to argue with Duffy’s success, but will it stress the bullpen in the second half of the season?
Mike Matheny knows that Duffy doesn’t go deep into games, yet he decided to use the bullpen the day before when Brady Singer was cruising. It’s not going to work over the course of the season. Matheny can adjust and get things back on track, but if he doesn’t, the bullpen could be in trouble when it is needed the most.
O’Hearn Batting Fifth? Ryan O’Hearn was not good enough to make the opening day roster because he was sent to the alternate training site. Before Sunday, he had played in one game since being recalled. He went 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run. There’s no arguing that is a good game, but then, Matheny had him batting fifth on Sunday. What has Ryan O’Hearn done to earn hitting fifth? Seventh? Maybe. But fifth?
Mike Matheny had Jorge Soler batting fourth ahead of O’Hearn and Hunter Dozier batting sixth. What did O’Hearn do Sunday? He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
The 3-4-5 batters Sunday were 1-for-11 with five strikeouts. That’s Salvador Perez, Jorge Soler, and Ryan O’Hearn. Maybe it was a one-time thing, but that seems like too many consecutive bats that can struggle to make contact at times. Maybe Perez shouldn’t be lumped in with Soler and O’Hearn, but he acted like them on Sunday.
Next Up: The Royals go for the four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers Monday. Brad Keller gets the start and needs to start giving the club a chance to win.
Thanks for reading…
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