Short Season: Jason Vargas Is The Kansas City Royals

Share |

Throughout the postseason, Robert O'Connell will contribute brief sketches of small, significant moments from the last few games of 2014. This one is about a not-great pitcher who pitched like someone else.

Last November, the Kansas City Royals signed 30-year-old lefty Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million deal. If the previous offseason’s Wil Myers-and-change-for-James Shields-and-change blockbuster had signaled a new boldness for a franchise usually content to accumulate castoffs and hoard bargains, then this signing—the biggest move of the Kansas City winter—suggested a return to form. They were, after all, paying Jason Vargas: slowish stuff, middling ERA, Eeyore’s countenance, and the broader blankness of a video game’s create-a-character function before any alterations had been made. He hardly seemed the type to distinguish playoff hopeful from contender.

Anyway, on Wednesday afternoon in Kansas City, Vargas started for the Royals in the fourth game of the American League Championship Series, against the Baltimore Orioles. The Royals came into the game leading the series three games to none, and a rainout a couple days prior complicated the call for manager Ned Yost. Shields, the team’s ace, could have made the start on regular rest.

But Yost went with Vargas, who pitched as much of a gem as the present Royals require.  Over five-and-a-third innings, he put his 89-mile-per-hour fastball at the strike zone’s lower hem and lobbed in the odd curve. His change-up, his best pitch, looked conscious, and it dropped so gently Salvador Perez could’ve caught it with his bare hand. He struck out six, most of these coming when an Oriole mistook a pitch for its opposite and either whacked the air above a change or watched a fastball hold its line.

The Orioles managed just two hits off Vargas, one of those a booming third-inning Ryan Flaherty solo homer that would prove the only Baltimore run; other hard-hit balls only allowed the Kansas City defense to affirm its reputation. Omar Infante started the game off by nabbing a Nick Markakis grounder up the middle and letting go of it in the same instant, beating the runner by a step. Alcides Escobar twice started 6-3 double plays on Delmon Young rollers. Alex Gordon, in the fifth, tracked a J.J. Hardy shot back to the warning track, stretched and snared it, before crashing flattened against the outfield wall.

The Royals won, 2-1, with their two runs having come in the first inning in characteristically slap-and-scramble fashion. By the time their trio of hard-throwing and temporarily/eminently unhittable relievers had secured the final eleven outs, the thin-margin guile of Vargas was a distant memory. It was also, though, a fitting ingredient in the win that gave them the American League Pennant.

Four of the Royals’ eight straight wins this postseason have come in extra innings, and two more—these last two—have been decided by one run. Most every strike Vargas threw seemed decided by the pitching equivalent of this minescule margin, and placed just out of the way of serious trouble. That this just-enough bunch has made it to the World Series is as strange as it is invigorating; it is as if we’ve all just watched them hitchhike into heaven. 

Share |


I even have been getting a lot of helpful and informative material in your web site.

This was among the best posts and episode from your team it let me learn many new things. Nonsurgical Alternative to Liposuction

Typically when I browse the 'net I try to look for web-sites which provide good information so I found this web site. Very often that I have been to this particular site I've truly took pleasure in the nice article here. I'll be certain to look out for the following post.. Thanks for this fantastic posting I am going to come back in the future.

Your articles are very well written and unique.

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot! implant centre seminar

Through this post, I know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. I notify that this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for. You have a clever yet attractive way of writing. blog

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. visit blog

Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more. International law firms in Lagos

I am overwhelmed by your post with such a nice topic. Usually I visit your blogs and get updated through the information you include but today’s blog would be the most appreciable. Well done! animals for children

The article posted was very informative and useful. You people are doing a great job. Keep going. guard service san Francisco

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! Cesspit cleaning pembrokeshire

This website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up! seo for attorneys los angeles

Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!.

Really impressed! Everything is very open and very clear clarification of issues. It contains truly facts. Your website is very valuable. Thanks for sharing. Penile warts surgery

Thank you for helping people get the information they need. Great stuff as usual. Keep up the great work!!! tax parcel data

I am overwhelmed by your post with such a nice topic. Usually I visit your blogs and get updated through the information you include but today’s blog would be the most appreciable. Well done! gift guides

This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not every day that I have the possibility to see something like this.. parenting teenagers

So weird. I was just searching for information about this stuff and you popped up. You must be doing something right. Thanks by the way, this really answered some questions I was throwing around in the back of my mind.
food court

Welcome to the party of my life here you will learn everything about me. How I Work

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work cd dvd duplication services

Nice knowledge gaining article. This post is really the best on this valuable topic. Devotion System

This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Text Chemistry

This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough. blank media

This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough. Relationship Rewrite Method

Every week-end I used to pay a fast visit this site, because I’d like enjoyment, because this web site conations certainly fussy material. student discount card

Well, it’s a nice one, I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing such informative stuff. Mobile Casino

Unbelievable work man!! Keep your heads high you probably did it.
Mark Curry Kansas City

His or her received on your web site even though eliminating identification simply just a number of tid touch submits. Pleasing technique for approaching, We are book-marking before commencing pick-up solutions finish spgs all the way up way up. free email validation

It is really together a fair site we highly savored looking. Seriously isn't regular which provide the chance to observe a product or service. Jual Laptop Gaming

Jason Vargas simply is the key player keeping the entire team going. The affordable essay writing service told me of his contributions and I was completely mesmerized. All of it has gone pretty well I suppose.

Dofollow Blog Comments to improve link juice and web page rank in search engine result pages (SERP). The high traffic websites useful for affiliate marketers and new bloggers who are looking for a bit of extra traffic and Top Ranking Site 600 Dofollow Blog Comments

Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work Dofollow Blog Comments

Wonderful, just what a blog it is! This blog has provided the helpful data to us continue the good work. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. 100% Manually, So your site is safe you can get all HQ links, that definitely increase your SERPs. 20 High Quality Backlinks gig Only for fiverr members just for 5$ WOww...high trust flow backlinks

Congrats you individuals are doing with this blog