The next time someone argues that pitcher wins mean anything, remember the Cards-Nats game from tonight.
Stephen Strasburg and Shelby Miller are locked in a pitcher’s duel. It’s 1-1 in the top of the seventh. Miller gets two outs, but also loads the bases. He’s at 101 pitches and he’s gassed, so Mike Matheny calls on Randy Choate. Choate comes in and throws one pitch, which induces a ground ball to get the Cards out of the inning.
Bottom of the seventh comes and the Cards rally for three runs on a Matt Adams homer, a walk to Matt Holliday with the bases loaded and an Allen Craig single. Choate is the pitcher of record throughout this half-inning, even if he’s just watching it all from the bench, even as Jon Jay pinch hits for him. Pat Neshek comes in for the eighth and sets the Nats down 1-2-3. Trevor Rosenthal does the same in the ninth. Ballgame.
The man who threw one pitch is awarded with the win. Granted, he did his job and all that he was asked to do. But he still threw one pitch. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about pitcher wins.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.