Royal Danny Duffy, the King of K’s
It has been a tough year for the defending world champion Kansas City Royals, but one guy has stepped up and made 2016 a year to remember. Danny Duffy has “turned the corner”, to use manager Ned Yost‘s words, and is quickly establishing himself as the Royals number one starter.
In no particular start had Duffy asserted himself as a star as much as he did Monday night. Royals fans will look back at August 1, 2016 as the day a new king was crowned. Duffy took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. He surrendered only one base runner on a lead-off walk in the fourth inning, then Desmond Jennings hit a line drive double into left field on pitch number 101 from the Royals southpaw. Salvador Perez, Duffy’s long-time catcher and friend, who debuted with Duffy in 2011, immediately went out to the mound to congratulate him and encourage him to keep his focus. Duffy did just that, calmly stranding Jennings at second base as he made history
Kevin Kiermaier jumped on Duffy’s next pitch, lining it into right-center, but Paulo Orlando chased it down, recording the first out. Duffy then struck out back-to-back hitters, whiffing Nick Franklin for his 16th strikeout of the night. With that fateful pitch, Duffy surpassed Zack Greinke‘s 15-strikeout game in his Cy Young 2009 season as the single-game franchise strikeout king.