FanPost

This Date in Royals History: July 13

Feeling a little nostalgic? Hankering for a glance back to the past? Ever think to yourself, "I wonder how the Royals did on July 13, 2000?" 

For some reason, that question popped into my head this morning. (I'm blaming it on the wacked-out summer sleep schedule). So, if you desire, join me as I take a look at how July 13th has treated our hallowed boys in blue, courtesy of the good folks at baseball-reference.com.

Five Years Ago: July 13, 2003

A mere five years ago the Royals were in the midst of a breakout  fluke season under the guidance of the infamous Tony Pena. Like this year, July 13 fell on a Sunday. It was also the final game before the All-Star Game.
Either way, the Royals dismantled the Texas Rangers in Arlington by a score of 8-2 using this awe-inspiring lineup to move ten games above .500 at 51-41.

Kansas City Royals  AB   R   H RBI   BB  SO    BA   OPS  Pit   PO   A  Details
A Guiel DH                    3   2   1   1    0   0  .270  .865   24    0   0   HR,2·HBP
J Matos 3B                    5   1   3   2    0   1  .455 1.182   13    0   0   HR
C Beltran CF                  4   1   3   2    1   0  .296  .860   22    4   0  
R Ibanez LF                   4   0   0   0    1   0  .286  .791   23    1   0   SB
  D Relaford PR-RF            0   0   0   0    0   0  .288  .776         0   0  
K Harvey 1B                   5   1   1   1    0   2  .266  .745   22    5   0  
A Berroa SS                   4   1   1   2    0   1  .283  .796   21    1   3   HR,HBP
M Tucker RF-LF             5   0   1   0    0   1  .273  .815   19    4   0   CS
M Difelice C                    5   0   0   0    0   3  .264  .715   24   10   0  
C Febles 2B                   3   2   1   0    1   0  .244  .572   17    2   1   SB

Tell me how this team didn't win the division!! Come on now! When I think of a first-place team, I think of Mike Difelice, Dos Carlos, and J.Matos.  J.Matos? Who?  (Pause for quick background check)

...ok ok, Julius Matos. Like I said...who? I had totally forgotten about this guy. Here's the scoop--Julius Matos was a 28-year old utility guy who played two years in the major leagues. Sadly, 2003 was his final year. He appeared in 28 games for the Royals, and his 3-5 performance with a HR and 2 RBI on July 13th, 2003 marked his best game ever as a Royal! Congrats to you my friend. May you always remember July 13th.

As for the pitching, I'd like for someone to explain how Darrell May, Jeremy Affeldt, DJ Carrasco, Nate Field, and Mike MacDougal only gave up two runs and added 10 strikeouts against this lineup:

Texas Rangers                AB   R   H RBI   BB  SO    BA   OPS  Pit   PO   A  Details
M Young 2B                    5   1   2   0    0   1  .321  .819   21    0   3  
D Glanville CF                5   0   3   0    0   1  .231  .565   18    1   0   2B
A Rodriguez SS             4   0   0   1    1   2  .285  .917   16    3   1  
R Palmeiro 1B              5   0   2   0    0   1  .246  .844   20    8   1  
J Gonzalez DH              4   0   1   0    0   1  .288  .882   35    0   0   HBP
M Teixeira LF                 5   1   2   1    0   2  .254  .820   22    1   0   HR
T Greene C                    4   0   1   0    0   1  .228  .666   14    8   0   2B
R Ludwick RF               3   0   1   0    1   1  .182  .507   18    3   0  
D Sadler 3B                   3   0   0   0    0   0  .216  .600   14    3   1  
  H Blalock PH-3B        1   0   0   0    0   0  .323  .899    5    0   1  

--How was this Rangers' team 38-55 and 20 games out already? (Pitching, I know.) Wow.  It's interesting to see Teixeira in LF, old pal Donnie Sadler, and yes...that's Ryan Ludwick in RF. Sadly, he would only play one more game for the Rangers before being traded to Cleveland for Ricardo Rodriguez and Shane Spencer.

Amazing, no? Not a single player who appeared for KC that day is still in the organization, and the majority of those guys aren't even in the majors anymore. But all in all, July 13th nearly marked the high point in the 2003 season. The Royals went into the All-Star Break with a seven game lead in the division. The only larger lead they would enjoy would be on July 17th when they were 7.5 games up. Sadly, we know how things went from there.

 

 

Eight Years Ago: July 13, 2000

Cranking the time machine back into the Tony Muser Era (a dangerous proposition, I might add) brings us back to a Thursday night home matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Royals starter was Blake Stein, who had been acquired at the 1999 trade-deadline for Jeff Suppan. He gave up five runs in the first two innings (M.Grissom & J.Burnitz homered), which was all the support Brewers starter (and future Royal) Jamey Wright would need.  Want to take a guess at the lineup Muser trotted out there? Go ahead.....guess...........

Kansas City Royals       AB   R   H RBI   BB  SO    BA   OPS  Pit   PO   A  Details
J Damon CF                    4   1   3   0    1   0  .273  .771   18    2   0   2B,2·SB
J Reboulet 2B                 4   0   1   1    1   1  .276  .686   29    1   3   GDP
M Sweeney 1B                4   0   1   0    0   1  .359  .973   14    8   0  
J Dye RF                          4   0   1   0    0   2  .318 1.002   16    2   0  
M Quinn LF                      3   1   2   1    1   0  .272  .816   14    2   0   HR,GDP
J Randa 3B                     4   0   1   0    0   0  .316  .828   12    1   1  
D McCarty DH                 4   0   0   0    0   1  .308  .970   19    0   0  
J Fabregas C                  4   0   0   0    0   0  .257  .666   16   10   1  
R Sanchez SS                  2   0   1   0    1   0  .242  .574    8    1   3  
  T Dunwoody PH               1   0   0   0    0   1  .196  .523    5    0   0 

--Ok, seriously now...who had Todd Dunwoody as one of the Royals that came to mind? In 61 miraculous games that year, he managed a .208/.238/.275 line. Somewhat amazingly, this was his only season as a Royal.

--Nice to see the power out of Mark Quinn....remember when he had a K-Swiss commercial? Ahh, marketing.  It should be noted that he drew a walk this game as well. In 2000 he actually drew 35 walks, which is more than the rest of his career combined.

What about the pitchers? I already told you Blake Stein...but there were three others. Try and guess, I dare you. You might get one of the three:

 

(Pausing for guess).....

 

Did you say these three gentlemen?
A) Brett Laxton  1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K
B)Ricky Bottalico  0.2 IP, 0 H, 0BB, 1 K
C)Jerry Spradlin 1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0K

--Did you know who Brett Laxton was? I sure didn't. Turns out he was the guy we traded Jeremy Giambi for. As happy as I was for pointing out Julius Matos as having his best day ever as a Royal on July 13, I am sad for Mr. Laxton. July 13 was his last pitching appearance in the major leagues. Ever. We shipped him back to Omaha where he toiled for two more seasons, but he never made it back to the Show. Sorry it didn't work out, Brett.

--Bottalico was also in his only season as a Royal. If I remember correctly he was coming off of a major injury and signed with KC to showcase his health in the hope he could land a closing job with a better team. Looks like he ended up saving 16 games that year (not before becoming "Blowtalico" on occasion), but only had five saves in his five seasons he played after the 2000 tour of duty with KC.

--The news is almost as grim for Jerry Spradlin. Like Laxton and Bottalico, 2000 was his only season as a Royal. Unfortunately, he didn't even make it to the end of the season with KC. We released him on August 30. The Cubs signed him, and he appeared in eight forgettable games with the Cubs before calling it a career.

 

 

23 Years Ago: July 13, 1985

--While I won't be able to remember much about this game seeing as I was all of five years old at the time, I thought it would be fun to look back to the glory days. 

Turns out the Royals were in Cleveland to face the hapless (28-56) Indians. The Royals weren't anything special at this point in the season either, though, sitting at 42-42 for an even .500 record, good for third place in the AL West, 7.5 games behind the leader. Little did they know at the time, but July 13 would mark the last point in the season in which the Royals were .500.  The 7.5 games out of first place signified the largest defecit Dick Howser's boys would face all year. (In fact, they remained 7.5 out until July 21st before gaining any ground.)  Who led the Royals in their charge above .500 and back into the AL West race?

 

 

 

 


 

Kansas City Royals           AB   R   H RBI   BB  SO    BA   OPS  Pit   PO   A  Details
W Wilson CF                 5   0   2   0    0   2  .284  .745    0    2   0   
D Iorg LF 3 0 2 2 0 1 .192 .538 0 0 0
L Jones PR-LF 2 0 0 0 0 1 .194 .485 0 1 0 GDP
G Brett 3B 3 0 1 0 0 2 .357 1.037 0 0 1 HBP
J Orta DH 4 0 0 0 0 0 .270 .684 0 0 0
D Motley RF 4 1 1 0 0 2 .230 .666 0 4 0 SB
F White 2B 4 2 2 2 0 0 .234 .668 0 3 4 HR
S Balboni 1B 3 1 1 1 0 1 .245 .726 0 7 0 HBP
J Sundberg C 4 1 1 0 0 1 .243 .692 0 9 0
B Biancalana SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 .123 .382 0 0 2 CS
 

--Ok, so not a lot offensively. The Royals were going against Bert Blyleven (1985 salary = $650,000), who finished third in the Cy Young voting that year behind Saberhagen and Ron Guidry. He was on his way to leading the majors with 24 complete games in 37 starts!  He also led the league in IP (293.2), strikeouts (206), games started, and shutouts (5). He had the 6th best ERA+ that year at 134. But the Royals were victorious by a count of 5-1 this night due to the strong pitching performance of Bret Saberhagen. He shut down the Indians lineup, which consisted of guys like Brett Butler, Julio Franco, Pat Tabler, and Joe Carter.

Here are the pitching lines from the night. Contrast them with the 2003 & 2000 beauties we've already seen. Note the durability, lack of walks, and strikeouts:

Saberhagen: 9 IP,  9 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K   (10-4    2.78 ERA)
Blyleven: 9 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 10 K  (8-9    3.21 ERA) 

--Saberhagen ended the year 20-6, so the kid went on a serious tear to end the season, but we all knew that already. (145 ERA+, 4.16 k/bb rate, 2.87 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 10 Complete Games). Blyleven was in a streak of 10 straight complete games during this part of the season. That is flat-out amazing. I know pitching & hitting was a different ballgame back then, but still. Mad props. The streak would've extended to 11 but Blyleven only went a sissy-like 8.2 IP in a start against the Yankees later in July. Completely unacceptable.  Cleveland did the only smart thing and shipped him off to Minnesota after that start in a trade.  Something tells me he earned his salary that year, however.

Well, it's probably time to wrap this up. This internets is an amazing tool, eh? Thank you Al Gore!! How else could we relive the wonders and horrors of July 13th in Kansas City Royals history? I always enjoy looking back and digging up those names from the past. (Here's looking at you, Julius Matos). 

One can only wonder what July 13th, 2008 will hold in store for the franchise.....Seattle--you've been warned!

 

 

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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