December 10, 2013
And here's the full roster.
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Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category Royals .
11/14/2013: Let’s discuss the THT Annualby Dave Studeman
12/10/2013: All about the latest Bill James Handbookby Dave Studeman
12/10/2013: Though night may fall, play ball!by Frank Jackson
12/10/2013: Roy Halladay retiresby Jeff Moore
12/09/2013: Leverage Index by inningby Dave Studeman
12/09/2013: How far are the Mariners from relevancy?by Brad Johnson
12/09/2013: Prince Halby Chris Jaffe
12/09/2013: Three underrated acquisitionsby Pat Andriola
12/06/2013: Cooperstown Confidential: Ed Charles and 42by Bruce Markusen
12/06/2013: The Athletics get busyby Brad Johnson
12/06/2013: Getting to know Ryan Haniganby Chad Dotson
12/04/2013: Cataloging the non-tendered playersby Brad Johnson
12/04/2013: Alone on the pedestalby Jason Linden
12/03/2013: Mascot fight!by Greg Simons
12/03/2013: Why is a sinker “heavy?”by David Kagan
12/03/2013: The role of fall leaguesby Jeff Moore
12/02/2013: Nationals make great deal for Fisterby Matt Filippi
12/02/2013: The Twins go holiday shopping, but to what end?by Brad Johnson
12/02/2013: The end of the benchby Chris Jaffe
11/29/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Danny Waltonby Bruce Markusen
11/29/2013: The best rookies of the ‘30sby Chad Dotson
11/27/2013: Towards an award prediction systemby Shane Tourtellotte
11/26/2013: MLB’s coffers are overflowingby Greg Simons
11/26/2013: The role of prospects in tradesby Jeff Moore
11/25/2013: Stepping up to the plateby Frank Jackson
11/25/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about player birthdaysby Chris Jaffe
11/22/2013: The end of the road for Chris Carpenterby Chad Dotson
11/21/2013: All the news that’s fit to inventby Azure Texan
11/20/2013: Marcus Stroman, the mythbusting machineby Kyle Boddy
11/20/2013: Welcome to the birthplace of… someone elseby Jason Linden
11/19/2013: 2013 THT awards reviewby Greg Simons
11/18/2013: THT Fantasy has moved to Rotographsby Dave Studeman
11/18/2013: Atlanta gets burned againby Frank Jackson
11/18/2013: The 2014 Hall of Fame VC ballotby Chris Jaffe
11/18/2013: Must See MLB.TV 2013by Dave Studeman
11/15/2013: The best rookies of the ‘40sby Chad Dotson
11/15/2013: Card Corner: Wayne Granger: 1973 Toppsby Bruce Markusen
11/14/2013: 10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski tradeby Chris Jaffe
11/14/2013: The Screwball: The face of championship baseballby Azure Texan
11/14/2013: Player-A-Day: Casey Fienby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Player-A-Day: Tim Lincecumby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Pitcher performance after batting successby Shane Tourtellotte
11/13/2013: 25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letterby Chris Jaffe
11/13/2013: Houston hoodoo ‘62by Frank Jackson
11/12/2013: It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014by Dave Studeman
11/12/2013: Player-A-Day: Joe Mauerby Brad Johnson
11/11/2013: Fastball velocity by game stateby Jon Roegele
11/11/2013: The rise of the middle-aged managerby Chris Jaffe
11/08/2013: Player-A-Day: Josmil Pintoby Brad Johnson
11/08/2013: Hall monitor: The case for Andruw Jonesby Chad Dotson
11/07/2013: Big leaguers, bit partsby Azure Texan
11/07/2013: Player-A-Day: Nathan Eovaldiby Brad Johnson
11/06/2013: If he’d only gotten another shotby Jason Linden
11/06/2013: Player-A-Day: David DeJesusby Brad Johnson
11/05/2013: Player-A-Day: David Ortizby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Dariel Abreuby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: The Boston (Braves) Marathon of 1928by Frank Jackson
11/04/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about birthdays in 2013by Chris Jaffe
11/01/2013: Taking the close pitch with two strikesby James Gentile
11/01/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Don Baylorby Bruce Markusen
11/01/2013: The best rookies of the ‘50sby Chad Dotson
10/31/2013: The Screwball: Celebrate good times, come on!by Azure Texan
10/31/2013: Player-A-Day: Leonys Martinby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Player-A-Day: Jon Lesterby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Forecasting the major 2013 awardsby Shane Tourtellotte
10/30/2013: The effect of seeing pitchesby Jon Roegele
10/29/2013: Putting the knock on pitching changesby Joe Distelheim
10/29/2013: Player-A-Day: Ryan Howardby Brad Johnson
10/29/2013: Losing momentum in the sixth gameby Dave Studeman
10/29/2013: Previewing the fall Stars gameby Jeff Moore
10/28/2013: Player-A-Day: Travis Woodby Brad Johnson
10/28/2013: Marquis Grissom: Mr. October Jr.by Frank Jackson
10/25/2013: The blackballing of Dick Dietzby Bruce Markusen
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Xander Bogaertsby Brad Johnson
10/24/2013: The Screwball: Put it in neutral?by Azure Texan
10/24/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘00sby Richard Barbieri
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Michael Wachaby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: Earn money watching baseballby Dave Studeman
10/23/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Iglesiasby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: 20th anniversary: The Joe Carter gameby Chris Jaffe
10/23/2013: Giants take a risk with Lincecum’s two-year dealby Matt Filippi
10/23/2013: BOB: Nolan Ryan retires…for nowby Brian Borawski
10/22/2013: Where does David Price fit?by Jeff Moore
10/22/2013: Survey says?!?!?by Greg Simons
10/22/2013: ALCS post-mortem: The Fielder playby Shane Tourtellotte
10/21/2013: The best rivalries of 2013by Chris Jaffe
10/21/2013: World Series workhorsesby Frank Jackson
10/20/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/19/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/19/2013: WPS Recap: NLCS, 10/18/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
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October 23, 2012
A few playoff nuggets
— How have the Tigers and Giants fared against each other in previous postseason encounters? Actually, they've never faced one another in the playoffs. Heading into the League Championship Series, this was the only one of the four potential World Series match-ups that never had happened before.
The Yankees and (New York and San Francisco) Giants have met seven times (1921, '22, '23, '36, '37, '51, '62), with the Bronx Bombers holding a 5-2 advantage. The Cardinals and Yankees have faced off five times (1926, '28, '42, 43, '64), with St. Louis winning three titles. The Cardinals and Tigers have squared off three times (1934, '68, 2006), with the Cards emerging victorious twice.
— Could we be watching both Most Valuable Players in this year's Fall Classic? Buster Posey seems to be the favorite in the National League, while Miguel Cabrera has a strong shot in the American League if those nerdy stats geeks focus just on the numbers.
You know, the Triple Crown, which contains one category (home runs) of obvious value, another (batting average) that is worthwhile in limited situations, and a third (RBI) that has as much to do with the guys hitting in front of a player as with that player's actually ability.
— The Giants are the second team in history to win three do-or-die games twice is a single postseason, joining the 1985 Royals. Kansas City came back from 3-1 deficits against Toronto in the ALCS and St. Louis in the World Series. As we just witnessed, San Francisco overcame a 2-0 hole in this year's best-of-five NLDS against Cincinnati and rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS.
— In its four League Championship Series wins, San Francisco outscored St. Louis, 27-2. The Cardinals and Yankees combined to score eight runs in their eight LCS losses, with New York looking like a relative powerhouse by plating six runners.
— The Redbirds are the first team to lose four playoff series after having a three-games-to-one lead. They also were the first, and still only, team to lose in three such scenarios. In addition to this season and the '85 World Series mentioned above, St. Louis dropped the 1968 championship to Detroit and the '96 NLCS to Atlanta.
— Boston is the only team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit three times, including the remarkable comeback from a 3-0 hole versus New York in the 2004 ALCS. The Red Sox also rallied against the Angels in the '86 American League Championship Series and the Indians in the 2007 ALCS.
The Royals the Pirates have achieved this feat twice each. KC's triumphs were mentioned above, while Pittsburgh defeated the Washington Senators in the 1925 World Series and Baltimore in the '79 Fall Classic.
Posted by: Greg Simons
May 25, 2011
Paul Splitorff career highlightsEarlier today, former Royals pitcher Paul Splittorff died after a fight with cancer at age 64>.
I’ve never been a Royals fan but I do remember as a kid when he was a veteran pitcher, and all-time franchise victory in wins to boot. My main memory of him when I was a kid is something a bit more oddball, though: I always like the named “Splittorff.” It just sounds nice.
At any rate, I recently wrote a piece discussing Harmon Killebrew career highlights when Killer died, and though Splittorff isn’t nearly as big a figure as Killebrew, I thought I’d do the same.
Below is a list of big games Splittorff appeared in, his best/worst/most noteworthy achievements, and some oddball games/moments he happened to be on hand for, even if he had nothing to do with what made that game worthy of note. Hey, they’re all games he appeared in.
Sept. 23, 1970 Paul Splittorff plays his first game. He loses to the White Sox, pitching seven innings allowing 10 hits and five runs (three earned). In his first inning of work, Carlos May is out trying to steal third against him.
April 22, 1972 Splittorff tosses a complete game but loses 1-0 to Wilbur Wood and the White Sox. This is his only complete-game 1-0 loss.
May 3, 1972 Al Kaline, age 37, hits two triples in one game against the Royals. Splittorff allows the first.
June 27, 1972 Splittorff hits a triple. It’s his second and last extra base hit, as next year the AL adopts the DH rule.
Sept. 5, 1972 Splittorff fans 10 batters in a game, a career high he’ll tie on Sept. 16, 1973.
June 2, 1973 John Ellis of the Indians gets a second-inning single against Splittorff. It’s the only hit Ellis gets in 34 career at-bats against Splittorff.
July 26, 1973 Splittorff’s only complete-game shutout 1-0 win in a nine-inning game. He won 1-0 in a shortened five-inning game on Aug. 11, 1971. It’s over the White Sox, whom he three-hits.
Aug. 26, 1973 In the second inning of a game against the Orioles, Splittorff allows an inside-the-park grand slam to Paul Blair. It’s one of three inside-the-park home runs Splittorff ever allows and one of four slams. It comes in the worst start of Splittorff’s career: 6.2 IP, 13 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 3 BB, 2 K for a Game Score of 9.
Sept. 26, 1973 In his last start of the season, Splittorff wins his 20th game of the year, his only 20-win season. It looks like there was a definite push to get him to 20 wins. The team allowed him to start on Sept. 20, 23, and 26—all of which were victories for him. In his entire career, Splittorff started on two days rest exactly five times—and two were right here back-to-back as he made the final push for 20 wins.
June 26, 1974 Splittorff’s longest career start results in a complete game victory as the Royals beat the White Sox 2-1. Splittorff’s line: 12 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K.
Aug. 11, 1974 Splittorff allows a leadoff home run to Ken Berry. It’s the only leadoff home run he’ll allow in 392 career starts.
April 9, 1975 Splittorff throws three wild pitches, his most in one game.
April 14, 1975 In his first decision of the year, Splittorff picks up the loss, giving him eight straight losses including late 1974. This is the worst losing streak of his career.
Aug. 3, 1975 Splittorff throws a complete game one-hitter. Oakland’s Claudell Washington singles with one out in the first inning, and that’s it for the day against Splittorff.
Sept. 15, 1975 Splittorff wins his 62nd game, all with the Royals, to pass Dick Drago as the franchise’s all-time leader in victories. Splittorff eventually retires with 166 wins and is still the all-time Royals leader in wins.
Oct. 10, 1976 Game 2 of the ALCS: Splittorff makes his first-ever playoff appearance, pitching in relief when Whitey Herzog gets a quick hook to Dennis Leonard in the third inning. The Royals trail 3-2 when Splittorff comes in, but have a 7-3 lead when he leaves for the ninth inning, and that’s the final score.
Oct. 14, 1976 Game 5 of the ALCS: Splittorff again relieves Leonard early. Leonard faces only three batters, and they all get hits, and then Splittorff enters. He also has troubles, allowing two runs in 3.2 innings, not including an inherited runner that scored in the first. The Yankees win 7-6 to take the pennant on a walk-off home run by Chris Chambliss.
July 1, 1977 Splittorff indirectly helps make Royals history. When he has to leave the game after facing only four batters—and getting none out (three hits and a walk)—reliever Marty Pattin comes in to pitch nine full innings, as the Royals beat the Indians 12-2. It’s the last time a Royal went nine innings in relief. Bruce Del Canton also did it for the team on May 5, 1973.
Sept. 2, 1977 Splittorff nearly throws a no-hitter. Charlie Moore singles with two outs in the bottom of the eighth for the Brewers, and Splittorff has to settle for a one-hitter. If it’s any consolation, according to Game Score it’s still his greatest start. His line: 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K in 3-0 complete-game win over the Brewers.
Oct. 5, 1977: Game 1 of the ALCS: Splittorff makes his first postseason start, and the Royals beat the Yankees, 7-2. He goes eight innings allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk while fanning a pair.
Oct. 9, 1977: Game 5 of the ALCS. Splittorff gets the start in the final game of the best-of-five ALCS. There’s an interesting decision made before the game: Yankees manager Billy Martin benches star Reggie Jackson because he doesn’t think the slugger can hit Splittorff. At that time, Jackson is 19-for-68 career versus Splittorff, but that’s because Jackson crushed him when Splitorff was a kid. Beginning in 1973, Splittorff held Jackson to an 11-for-54 line—actually, it’s 11-for-58 if you include Game 1 of the ALCS—with four doubles and one home run.
The Royals lead 3-1 after seven innings, but when Willie Randolph gets a single to leadoff the eighth, manager Herzog yanks Splittorff and puts the game in his bullpen’s hands. It doesn’t work, as the Yankees win 5-3.
April 22, 1978 Splittorff wins his 11th consecutive game—12th consecutive if you count last year’s postseason. That’s his longest career winning streak.
July 21, 1978 Splittorff wins his 100th game. He is the first Royals pitcher in history to reach this mark.
Oct. 6, 1978: Game 3 of the ALCS. Splittorff gets a no-decision when the Royals beat the Yankees 6-5. He throws 7.1 innings and allows five runs (four earned).
Aug. 21, 1979 Splittorff pitches a nine-inning complete game despite striking out zero batters. Yankees win, 6-2. Want to know how the game has changed? It's been four years since anyone had a complete game with zero Ks, but the Royals did it seven times by themselves in the 1970s. This was the only time for Spittorff, though.
Sept. 28, 1980 Splittorff is the starting pitcher when George Brett hits a pinch hit grand slam in the top of the sixth inning. Splittorff was removed from the game a half-inning before, and this shot ensures he won’t get the loss.
Oct. 10, 1980: Game 3 of the ALCS. Splittorff makes his last postseason start, and the Royals clinch their first pennant in the game. He doesn’t get the win, but he allowed only one run in 5.1 innings. A late Royals rally gives them a 4-2 win. I’m not sure what happened to get him pulled. While he’d just allowed a one-out double to Reggie Jackson, the Royals led 1-0 and Jackson was the first Yankee to make it to scoring position since the third inning.
Oct. 21, 1980: Game 6 of the World Series. Splittorff makes his only World Series appearance when he relieves in its final game. Was he injured? He was the team’s third best pitcher on the year, but was ignored for the first five games of the Series after his early hook in the ALCS. Here, he allows four hits in 1.2 innings.
April 30, 1981 In a rare relief appearance, Splittorff balks, his first in almost five years and more than 1,000 innings. He balks again three days later.
May 23, 1981 Splittorff stars in one of the greatest pitchers’ duels in KC history. He pitches 11 innings of shutout ball against the Twins, allowing only six hits and two walks—but the Royals can’t score either. A Willie Wilson RBI single in the bottom of the 15th inning finally ends it, a 1-0 victory for the Royals. It’s the last time a Royals starter has pitched 11 innings in a game.
June 11, 1981 Splittorff is the starting pitcher for the Royals when George Brett’s batting average reaches its all-time peak. A ninth-inning double gives him 1,307 hits in 4,094 at-bats, a .319248 mark. By that time in the game, though, Splittorff is long gone. He didn’t get out of the fourth inning.
May 2, 1983 Milwaukee’s Larry Hisle hits a pinch hit home run off Splittorff, the only pinch hit homer he ever gives up. It turns 3-0 Royals lead into a 3-2 game.
May 24, 1983 Never much of a strikeout artist, Splittorff fans his 1,000th batter, Jim Sundberg. He’s thrown 2,386.1 innings at that point in his career.
June 10, 1983 Splittorff allows only seven base runners (three hits and four walks) but still manages to pick two of them off in game against the Mariners. It’s the third time in his career he’s picked off two runners in one game.
July 25, 1983 Splittorff is Kansas City’s starting pitcher when the opposing Indians perform one of baseball’s stranger collective brain farts. In the bottom of the eighth inning and the Royals batting, the entire Cleveland team walks off the field with two outs. They thought the inning was over. Apparently, counting to three is harder than it looks. Splittorff had been removed from the game by that time, though. He did get the win, the 161st of his career.
April 4, 1984 Splittorff, in his first appearance of the year, gets roughed up by the Yankees and is removed in the fifth inning. In his place, the Royals turn to a kid making his big league debut: Bret Saberhagen. In his next start, Splittorff will pitch poorly again, and again the Royals will have Saberhagen enter the game in relief. A torch has just been passed.
June 26, 1984 Splittorff plays his last game. It’s a start—his first since getting demoted to the bullpen over two months earlier—and, as one might expect, it doesn’t go well. He’s taken out in the fifth inning, having allowed seven runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks. Relieving him yet again is Saberhagen, who finishes off the game. In Splittorff’s three starts in 1984, he throws a total of 10 innings. In those same games, reliever Saberhagen throws 14 innings.
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
May 19, 2011
Picked-off RoyalsRoyals are pretty good at being unique this week. Not in a good way, either.
Last night, bottom of the ninth, a possible superstar in the making ties the the game with a home run.
The next batter gets a walk and the Royals bring in a pinch runner. He gets picked off at first base. The next batter draws a one-out walk. Instead of first and second with no outs in a tie game you have a man on first with one out. Pinch runner, another pickoff. A strikeout ends the threat. Game tied and the Royals lose to the Rangers in extra innings.
Surely, it isn't unprecedented. Right? Two pinch runners picked off in the same inning this late in the game?
Nope, at least not by the play-by-play data from Retrosheet. But I did find something that might be worse:
A May 7, 1969 game, Dodgers in Chicago to take on the Cubs. The game was tied 1-1 after nine innings and it took the visiting Dodgers until the 12th inning to plate any more runners against Fergie Jenkins, but then they scored three. In the bottom of the 12th, the Cubs got a little bit of a rally going. After getting a run to make the score 4-2, the Cubs had runners on first and third with two outs. Nate Oliver pinch runs for Willie Smith, who was on first base. Nate Oliver the gets picked off. Ball Game. Cubs lose.
At least the pickoffs did not END the game for the Royals.
Posted by: Mat Kovach
May 02, 2011
Notes after the last weekend in AprilSuperman has renounced his U.S. citizenship. It’s okay Clark Kent, we can get bad guys on our own.
Your division leaders as of this morning are the Indians, Yankees, Angels, Phillies, Cardinals, and Rockies. The Indians have the best record in the AL (and baseball), and the Phillies pace the NL.
(The NFL had a draft and was supposed to start its league season after the lockout was lifted. Then order to lift the lockout was stopped. Or it was not, or it was. Players are so confused now, they probably have no idea when to cycle off their off-season drug regiment.
Note to NFL fans: Take a chance and watch some baseball. Lot less legal talk...and get this...the INDIANS are the best team in baseball! No, really.)
The Indians have people befuddled. Where did that pitching come from? Of their 28 games, they have given up 15,10 and eight runs in three games and five or fewer in the rest, and they have lost two starting pitchers to the disabled list.
Their 2009 top draft pick makes his first MLB start, gives up two solo home runs in six innings, gets four strikeouts with only two bases on balls. He doesn’t get the win (the bullpen provided seven shutout innings to allow the offense to win the game in the 13th) but was a serviceable replacement. At least for now, the Indians have pitching depth. Who would of thunk it?*
*Hint: I did.
Conventional wisdom says Indians will cool off. But, hey, conventional wisdom does not help the cow understand that he just might be getting treated so well for the sole purpose of being slaughtered.
If the Indians cannot maintain this pace, a .500 winning percentage for the rest for the year makes this an 86-win team. The Indians are doing exactly what you expect of a good team.
They are beating bad teams, or beating times going through slumps. They are taking advantage of their good fortune and getting lucky in close games. They have already put 40 percent of their starting rotation on the DL and not been significantly effected by it. All this time, they are taking advantage of the bad play by people in their division.
Now, even when the Indians cool down, teams in their division are going to have to play significantly better than they are now to overtake the Indians. Yes, it is a long season, but which out of the Twins, White Sox, Tigers, or Royals** are capable of doing that? Are any of those teams able to do that with their current players?
**Yes, the second place Royals.
Posted by: Mat Kovach
January 14, 2011
One billion seconds since an odd story began…At some point today, probably around 8:50 p.m. Central Standard Time, it’ll be one billion seconds since the beginning of one of baseball’s nastiest beanball incidents. You can’t quite call it a beanball war, as this was pretty one-sided.
In the top of the first inning in a Rangers-Royals game, KC leadoff batter Frank White got hit by a pitch from Texas hurler Ed Farmer. It wasn’t just a nick—the pitch broke a bone in White's hand and he missed a month of baseball.
In and of itself, that’s unfortunate, but that wasn’t it. Four innings later, Farmer drilled right fielder Al Cowens in the face, breaking his jaw. Cowens would miss more than 20 games while his bones mended. A lot of games have multiple HBP in them, but how often do two players in the same lineup get their bones broken as a result? Bill James once noted that this game is remembered in KC. I can see why.
Were the hit batsmen intentional? Farmer he had no history with White that I know of, and the HBP was just in his hand. As for Cowens, Farmer had never faced him before in the majors. That said, Cowens had sparked a rally with an RBI single in his previous a- bat, and Farmer blasted him with a fastball to the face.
Farmer nowadays, harder to charge.
It’s clear Cowens thought the pitch was intended because there’s an odd coda to this incident from the only time Cowens and Farmer ever faced each other after the beaning.
It was in a game the next season, and by that time both men had changed teams. Cowens now batted for the Tigers and Farmer pitched relief for the Chicago White Sox (who currently employ him as their radio announcer).
My father and White Sox Fan Brother were at that game and it was one of the stranger things they’d ever seen. In a tie game, Cowens led off the top of the 11th against Farmer in old Comiskey Park. For my dad and brother, it looked like a routine play – grounder to short, easy throw to first. The batter was out by . . . - hey, where is he? How come there’s no one running to first?
Oh—there he is: charging the mound! Huh?
There’s a new one. When’s the last time you saw a batter charge the mound on a routine grounder? (In a tied game in extra innings, no less!) Suffice it to say, Cowens wanted payback. Dad and White Sox Fan Brother figured it was due to some confrontation they’d had in the minors or something. I always wondered what Cowens’ Tigers teammates thought about it.
I don’t know if that incident shook Farmer up at all, but he immediately surrendered a walk and game-winning double.
Regardless, sometime tonight will be a billion seconds since first the White plunking and then later Cowens beaning.
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
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