Here’s a telling stat: Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey has a 2.13 ERA in 13 of 15 major league starts, but in two games against the Toronto Blue Jays — his major league debut and last week’s start — Duffey apparently can’t pitch at all, surrendering enough runs that he has an ERA of more than 14.00 versus the Jays.
He also got roughed up by the Jays in March during spring training. So what gives? Based on Duffey’s recent after-game comments, it’s hard to tell why the team from Canada has his number. Or maybe no one has specifically asked him about it.
This is what he had to say to MLB.com:
“I was missing a lot, especially to the righties with the breaking ball,” said Duffey, who fell to 1-3 with a 3.30 ERA. “Instead of knowing what I could do, I was trying to be too fine with some breaking balls. I felt good, but after the fifth I kinda laid an egg. And the rest is history.”
For Twins pitcher Phil Hughes, it’s a different kind of curse: the curse of the big first inning.
First-inning runs allowed
13 — Michael Pineda, NYY
12 — Phil Hughes, Min
11 — Collin McHugh, Hou
— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) May 22, 2016
If Hughes can get out of the first without giving up too many runs, he seems to settle down and find a groove. It’s just that the first inning has killed him. He gave up three runs in the top of the first in his last start against the Jays, and that was the game, the Twins losing 3-1. Hughes fell to 1-7 as a result. He gave up five runs early in a 9-2 loss to the Orioles and surrendered six runs in two frames in a blowout loss to the Astros.
Or maybe the entire team is cursed this season.
After back-to-back wins against the Tribe, the Twins were swept in Detroit, came home to lose three of four to the Jays and as I write this, they are getting blown out by the Kansas City Royals. They currently have the worst record in baseball at 11-32.
In more hopeful news, new signing Robbie Grossman made his Twins debut in style, getting a hit, double and home run in four at bats against the Jays. The Twins need all the help they can get.
Robbie Grossman has five hits with the Twins, and four have driven in runs. His single to right scores Plouffe, puts Twins up 2-1.
— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) May 24, 2016