In tough times, major league players talk of keeping things in perspective. A game based on surviving failure teaches that. While that may be difficult, they have to do the same when things are going very well.
Kansas City Royals starter Danny Duffy has seen both sides of the equation in his 10-year career with the team.
He made his debut in 2011 when the Royals lost 91 games. He was there when the team started to climb into contention, and he was there when they went to back-to-back World Series in 2014 and 2015, winning it the second time.
He’s now a part of another rebuild and will take the mound Thursday as the Royals (14-23) host the Chicago White Sox (22-15).
“You don’t get too high on the highs or too low on the lows,” Duffy said Wednesday. “You’re never as good as people say you are, or as bad as people say you are. You just kind of ride the wave. You can’t be ‘peaks and valleys.’ It helps to be collected.”
Duffy has been a starter primarily, his role in 188 of his 216 career games. If his 62-63 record appears middling, his career ERA of 3.98 is above average. The competitor in him is not satisfied easily, but he did say that didn’t have to be perfect to call an outing “ideal.”
“An ideal start would be to go as deep into the game as possible and come out with the lead,” he said. “For me, it would be a complete game with no mistakes, but in the world we’re in, there are going to be mistakes. It’s about damage control.”
Duffy (2-2, 4.11 ERA) will make his eighth start of the year, and his second straight vs. the White Sox, on Thursday night.
Duffy did not get a decision in the Royals’ 6-5 walk-off loss in Chicago on Friday. He allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. It will be his seventh start within the division, and fifth in a row vs. either Minnesota or Chicago. He’s 2-0 with a 4.12 ERA in those four starts.
He’s 4-3 in 11 starts vs. the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium in his career, and has a 5.60 career ERA.
The White Sox are in a three-way battle in the American League Central, trailing the Indians by a game and leading the Twins by a half-game. They will counter with right-hander Dylan Cease (4-2, 3.00 ERA).
It will be the second straight start for Cease against the Royals. He took a no-decision in his last outing when he allowed one run on one hit. His problem was free passes, six of them, which caused him to throw 93 pitches and led to his removal after 4 1/3 innings.
“A lot of times, it seemed like I had two strikes pretty quick and then I would just throw three or four uncompetitive pitches,” Cease said.
“The fastball played pretty well. They didn’t really do a whole lot with my stuff. I just gave away way too many pitches. Put them in way too many hitters’ counts. So if I execute pitches, it’s a completely different ballgame,” he said.
The Royals may be without designated hitter Jorge Soler, who left Wednesday’s game with oblique irritation. Royals manager Mike Matheny said he’s day-to-day.
–Field Level Media