Thursday, September 21, 2017

KC: City of Champions

Last night was a tremendous and historical night for Kansas City sports teams, for two fantastic reasons:
1. Mike Moustakas set the Royals news single season home run mark by mashing his 37th home run of the season
2. Perhaps more importantly, Sporting KC won the US Open Cup with a thrilling victory at Children's Mercy Park

Have yourself a day KC!!!

Kansas City is now cementing itself as a City of Champions AND the Soccer Capital of America (see pic):
For instance:

The Kansas City Royals have won two championships and played in four championship games in the past 40 years

Sporting KC/the KC Wizards have won two league titles and four US Open Cup titles in their 21-year existence

FC Kansas City, the professional women's soccer team in KC, has won two titles (back-to-back) in their brief (4-year) existence

And the Chiefs, the golden child of the city, the bread and butter of KC's national sports scene, have won a whopping one championship and played in an additional title game.

Dear Chiefs, IT IS TIME TO STEP YOUR GAME UP. As much as I love the Red and Gold, it truly is time for them to make some noise and get to a Super Bowl (for the first time in 47 years no less). So far, the team looks good - below are some stats and rankings:

Alex Smith has the 5th most passing yards in the NFL
Kareem Hunt has the most rushing yards in the NFL
Tyreek Hill has the 4th most receiving yards in the NFL
The Chiefs are ranked the #2 offense (#5 passing and #2 rushing)
The Chiefs have the #2 scoring offense (34.5 points per game)

Not too shabby for the start of the season! Here's hoping their run continues...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Twitterati



The Royals currently sit in third place in the AL Central, half a game behind the Twins and 5 games behind the Indians. They are also one game out of the second Wild Card with 45 games left to play. Plenty of time to make a run and forget about the awful way that August started (4-9 record to start this month – UGH).
In order to forget about the Royals’ recent slate of terrible baseball, I thought it would be fun to rank the AL Central teams in terms of Twitter followers (and also the AFC West because CHIEFS). I also included the teams’ last WS appearance and title:

AL Central:
Tigers – 1,340,000+ followers (last WS appearance: 2012; last title: 1984 – LOL)
Royals – 914,000+ followers (last WS appearance: 2015; last title: 2015)
Indians – 796,000+ followers (last WS appearance: 2016; last title: 1948 – LOL)
White Sox – 768,000+ followers (last WS appearance: 2005; last title: 2005)
Twins – 540,000+ followers (LOL) (last WS appearance: 1991; last title: 1991)

It gives me great pleasure to know that both the Twins and White Sox have more recently won a World Series than the Indians and the Tigers LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. (Oh what fun that is to know on a Monday!)

AFC West:
Broncos – 2,320,000+ followers (last SB appearance: 2015; last title: 2015)
Raiders – 1,130,000+ followers (last SB appearance: 2002; last title : 1984)
Chiefs – 924,000+ followers (last SB appearance: 1969; last title 1969 – sad face)
Chargers – 678,000+ followers (last SB appearance: 1994; last title: NEVER – LOLOLOL)

On the other hand, the Chiefs definitely need to step their game up and get to a Super Bowl. Forty-eight years without a title game appearance – YUCK. I also find it interesting that the Royals and Chiefs have similar numbers of Twitter followers. 

Here’s hoping the Royals continue their winning ways and the Chiefs have a great season!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Goin' Streaking

The Royals last night pummeled the Tigers, 16-2. They slayed them, annihilated them, embarrassed them in front of their home crowd. It was glorious. Of note is the fact that the Royals had their most hits and runs of the season, and their largest margin of victory in 15 years. And perhaps more importantly:

THEY WON THEIR 8TH CONSECUTIVE GAME. 

Yep, the Royals, who finished the month of April with a record of 7-16, have completely turned things around with a scorching record of 46-31 since the beginning of May. They currently sit at 53-47, 6 games above .500 and 1.5 games behind Cleveland, with a 1 game lead on Tampa Bay for the 2nd Wild Card spot. Not too shabby considering how awful Alex Gordon, Brandon Moss, Raul Mondesi, Jr., Travis Wood, and others have played this season.

The Royals won their 8th straight last night largely from the strength of Eric Hosmer, who smacked his 1st career Grand Slam (only took him 7 years and 117 homers!), and Ian Kennedy, who allowed only 1 earned run and 3 hits with 4 strikeouts for his 4th win of the season. "We're going streaking!"
I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Royals notable wining streaks over the years:

Longest winning streak: 16 games in 1977. The team won 102 games that year.
Second longest winning streak: 14 games, set in 1994, right before the god-awful strike ended what could have been their first winning season since winning it all in 1985.

# of winning streaks of at least 10 games: 3
# of winning streaks of at least 9 games: 9

Recent years winning streaks
2016: 9 games
2015: 7 games
2014: 10 games

Next up for the Royals is the Boston Red Sox at Fenway. KC took 2 of 3 from them in KC back in June, with Kelvin Herrera notching 2 saves. The Red Sox sit in first place in the AL East, and have the second-fewest home losses in the AL (Yankees have fewest). Can the Royals extend the streak and salvage their 10th winning streak of 9 games? Hope so - it could be a pitcher's duel featuring two lefties - David Price versus Jason Vargas. MUST SEE TV!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Volume 3 (Nicknames)

Today is the day folks. Jason Vargas pitches for the Royals tonight and we here at the Jason Vargas Fan Club World Headquarters are so excited we just can't hide it. We are as overjoyed as Jason is virtually all of the time:
 (Jason does appear to crack a smile in the second image on the top, but you be the judge)


We previously took a look at Vargy and his pitching matchup here, and rather than re-hash some old stats and memories of the 2014 World Series, we thought it would be fun to instead come up with some nicknames for our beloved Vargy. Many of the other Royals players have nicknames or something the fans affectionately know them by, so why not have something for JV?! Might throw up a twitter poll to pick the best ones later tonight...

If you have any thoughts or comments, please feel free to chime in!

Possible nicknames for Jason Vargas:
  • Junior Varsity (because of his initials JV)
  • El Zurdo ("The Lefty" in Spanish since he is of Mexican American descent)
  • The Expressionless (since his facial expressions virtually never change)
  • VarGAS
  • Mr. Changeup (since that is his best pitch)
  • J-Varg
  • Vargy
  • Jason (since he is pretty boring and Jason is a boring nickname)
  • and, 69er (since he currently has 69 wins as an MLB pitcher)
What do you think? Shoot me an email or comment or a tweet (@mattfromkc) and let me know!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Volume 2

After Jason Vargas' sweet showing against the A's a few days ago, his next chance to shine comes this week. This post marks the second edition of the Jason Vargas Fan Club (see here for the inaugural edition!), and boy are we excited here at the Jason Vargas Fan Club World Headquarters!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the last place San Francisco Giants come to town in a rematch of the 2014 World Series. I know, I know, no one wants to be reminded of that awful night and Madison Bumgarner and his greasy locks shutting down the Royals. Ugh. But the Royals winning it all in 2015 made up for everything so all is well with the world, assuming the Royals get sweet revenge by destroying Bumgarner, who is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday.

(It is worth noting that the Royals defeated Bumgarner in the regular season in 2014; I will never understand why they were unable to replicate their regular season success against him in the postseason)

Coincidentally, Jason Vargas will be facing off against Bumgarner. Most people (probably, all sports fans actually) would say that Bumgarner is better than Vargas. Their season stats are below:
However, I am not most people. I am the founding member of the Jason Vargas Fan Club and therefore, I think all Jason Vargas haters (and Madison Bumgarner lovers) can suck it. Pete Grathoff from the KC Star posed a question on twitter for KC Fans regarding Bumgarner returning to KC:
My response to that question is that I want Jason Vargas riding a horse into Kauffman Stadium, flashing his magnificent arms through the outfield with the majestic fountains in the backdrop. Can you imagine seeing Vargy trotting out onto the field like this?!? Amazing... (if you are unsure of why I chose Vargy to ride a horse, see here)

Then I want Bumgarner to give up 6 home runs in the first inning. I hope he cries in his cereal the next day. The Royals have won 4 straight and the Giants have lost 2 straight. Even with all their stud pitchers (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Matt Cain), the Giants are still crap. Here in KC, we have three aces!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Royals 420

Danny Duffy was amazing for the Royals last night, He walked two batters, struck out 6, and lowered his season ERA to 1.80 while winning his second straight start. He was also backed by some monster home runs from Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez, who now have hit 4 and 5 home runs on the season, respectively.

I saw someone point out on Twitter that Duffy has allowed 4 runs in 20 innings, and his next scheduled start is on April 20 (4/20). All 4 of the runs he has given up were earned and opponents are batting .20 against him. In 4 of his seasons as a Royals pitcher (including this one), he has posted a record of at least .500 when pitching at least 20 innings.

With all of these allusions to 420, I thought it would be fun to take a look at other 420 references in the Royals' history:
  • The most famous Royals to wear #4 on their jersey include: Daryl Motley, Danny Tartabull, Gary Gaetti, Angel Berroa, and of course the current great Alex Gordon.
  • The most famous Royals to wear #20 on their jersey include: Jim Campanis and the GOAT Frank White.  
  • On their first 4/20 in team history, the Royals lost to the A's 5-1 and the losing pitcher was Bill Butler. Hilarious. 
  • On 4/20/1994 - The Royals beat the Tigers in a battle between David Cone and another future Royal (Jose Lima). Notable in that game was that Bob Hamelin scored 3 runs despite having 0 hits. 
  • On 4/20/1998, both Ken Griffey, Jr and A-Rod hit home runs and the Royals lost to the Mariners 8-7. 
  • On 4/20/2013, Kelvin Herrera blew a save and lost to future Royal Jonny Gomes and the Red Sox 4-3. 
  • 4/20/2016 was notable because the Royals lost to the Tigers 3-2 despite the fact that they cranked out 10 hits and hit two home runs in the 9th inning. 
  • Lots of losses on 4/20 for the Royals. In fact, by my unofficial count, they have lost 14 times on that date since the strike shortened seasons of 1994 and '95 ( 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016). They did not play on 4/20 every year so that is pretty bad.  
  • It's worth noting that Lorenzo Cain's career slugging percent as a Royal would round up to .420
Here is hoping that this year's 4/20 game against the Rangers brings better results! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Inaugural Edition

Last night, Jason Vargas was masterful against the Oakland A's. It marked his 11th straight start allowing 2 or fewer runs, a Royals team record. After watching him keep Oakland hitters off balance all night, I finally decided to declare my fangirl appreciation for Vargy and become the founding member of the Jason Vargas Fan Club (JVFC). So welcome to the JVFC: Inaugural Edition. In this initial post, I would like to highlight some of his stats and post shoddy photoshop jobs to indicate my affection for the Lovable Lefty.

Jason Matthew Vargas was drafted in 2004, made his MLB debut in 2005 and has played for five MLB clubs (Marlins, Mets, Mariners, Angels, and Royals). He has had a decent career so far, sporting a 4.14 ERA and registering 69 career wins (NICE).
After 2 starts, Vargas is 2-0 with a sparkling 0.66 ERA, which is the best of the Royals starting pitchers. He has thrown 14 strikeouts and given up only 2 bases on balls. He has started the season on a high note, one of the few Royals players who is currently not terrible. He's living that Thug Life and all the haters gotta Deal With It.