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List of Kansas City Royals Opening Day starting pitchers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gil Meche was the Kansas City Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Gil Meche was the Kansas City Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They currently play in the American League Central.

The first game of a new baseball season for a team is known as Opening Day. The Opening Day starting pitcher is often given to the pitcher who is expected to lead the team's pitching staff for that season,[1] though there are strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.[2] The Kansas City Royals have used 25 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 52 seasons. The 23 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 14 wins, 22 losses and 16 no decisions.[3] No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.

The Kansas City Royals began play in 1969. Wally Bunker was the Royals’ first Opening Day starting pitcher on April 8, 1969 against the Minnesota Twins.[4] The Royals have played in two home ball parks. They played in Municipal Stadium from 1969 through 1972. They played three Opening Day games at Municipal Stadium, winning twice and losing once. The Royals’ starting pitchers received no decisions in both of the wins, leaving their record in Opening Day starts at Municipal Stadium no wins, one loss, and two no decisions. In 1973, the team moved to Royals Stadium (later renamed to Kauffman Stadium in 1993).[5] They have played 24 Opening Day games in the stadium, with starting pitchers having ten wins, ten losses, and four no decisions. On the other hand, the Royals have played 25 Opening Day games on the road. Starting pitchers have a combined record of four wins, thirteen losses, and eight no decisions for road games.[3][6]

Kevin Appier has most Opening Day starts for the Royals, with seven, including six consecutive start from 1992 to 1997.[3] He has a record of 1–4 with two no decisions in those starts. The other Royal pitchers who have made at least three Opening Day starts are Dennis Leonard with four, and Paul Splittorff, Bud Black, Bret Saberhagen, Jeff Suppan, Gil Meche, and Danny Duffy with three apiece.[3] Bunker, Dick Drago, Steve Busby, Larry Gura and James Shields have each made two Opening Day starts for the Royals.[3]

Black, who has two wins as an Opening Day starting pitcher, is the only Royals pitcher who has won more than one Opening Day start. Black had a record in Opening Day starts of 2–1.[3] Only two Royals pitchers had more than one loss in Opening Day starts, Kevin Appier with four losses and Dennis Leonard with three.[3]

The Royals played in the World Series in 1980, 1985, 2014 and 2015, winning in 1985 and 2015.[7] Leonard, Black, Shields and Ventura were the Opening Day starting pitchers in 1980, 1985, 2014 and 2015 respectively. They combined to have a Opening Day record of 2–1 with one no decision.[3]

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Transcription

Key

Kauffman Stadium, originally named Royals Stadium, has been the Royals' home ball park since 1973.
Kauffman Stadium, originally named Royals Stadium, has been the Royals' home ball park since 1973.
Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Royals season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision by starting pitcher; Royals won game
ND (L) No decision by starting pitcher; Royals lost game
Final
Score
Game score with Royals runs listed first
Location Stadium in italics for home game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Royals
* Advanced to the post-season
** AL Champions
World Series Champions

Pitchers

Zack Greinke was the Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2010.
Zack Greinke was the Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2010.
José Lima (shown here with the Los Angeles Dodgers) was the Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2005.
José Lima (shown here with the Los Angeles Dodgers) was the Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2005.
Bud Black (shown here with the San Diego Padres) was the Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher three times during the 1980s.
Bud Black (shown here with the San Diego Padres) was the Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher three times during the 1980s.
Season Pitcher Decision Final
score
Opponent Location Ref(s)
1969 Wally Bunker ND (W) 4–3 Minnesota Twins Municipal Stadium [8]
1970 Wally Bunker (2) L 4–6 Oakland Athletics Municipal Stadium [9]
1971 Dick Drago W 4–1 California Angels Anaheim Stadium [10]
1972 Dick Drago (2) ND (W) 2–1 Chicago White Sox Municipal Stadium [11]
1973 Steve Busby L 2–3 California Angels Anaheim Stadium [12]
1974 Paul Splittorff ND (L) 4–6 Minnesota Twins Royals Stadium [13]
1975 Steve Busby (2) ND (L) 2–3 California Angels Anaheim Stadium [14]
1976* Paul Splittorff (2) L 0–4 Chicago White Sox Comiskey Park [15]
1977* Paul Splittorff (3) W 7–4 Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium [16]
1978* Dennis Leonard L 5–8 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Stadium [17]
1979 Dennis Leonard (2) W 11–2 Toronto Blue Jays Royals Stadium [18]
1980** Dennis Leonard (3) L 1–5 Detroit Tigers Royals Stadium [19]
1981* Larry Gura L 3–5 Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium [20]
1982 Dennis Leonard (4) L 5–13 Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium [21]
1983 Larry Gura (2) W 7–2 Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium [22]
1984* Bud Black W 4–2 New York Yankees Royals Stadium [23]
1985 Bud Black (2) W 2–1 Toronto Blue Jays Royals Stadium [24]
1986 Bud Black (3) L 2–4 New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [25]
1987 Danny Jackson L 4–5 Chicago White Sox Royals Stadium [26]
1988 Bret Saberhagen L 3–5 Toronto Blue Jays Royals Stadium [27]
1989 Mark Gubicza L 3–4 Toronto Blue Jays Royals Stadium [28]
1990 Bret Saberhagen (2) ND (L) 6–7 Baltimore Orioles Royals Stadium [29]
1991 Bret Saberhagen (3) W 4–2 Cleveland Indians Royals Stadium [30]
1992 Kevin Appier ND (L) 3–5 Oakland Athletics Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum [31]
1993 Kevin Appier (2) L 1–3 Boston Red Sox Royals Stadium [32]
1994 Kevin Appier (3) L 3–6 Baltimore Orioles Camden Yards [33]
1995 Kevin Appier (4) W 5–1 Baltimore Orioles Kauffman Stadium [34]
1996 Kevin Appier (5) L 2–5 Baltimore Orioles Camden Yards [35]
1997 Kevin Appier (6) ND (L) 2–4 Baltimore Orioles Camden Yards [36]
1998 Tim Belcher W 4–1 Baltimore Orioles Camden Yards [37]
1999 Kevin Appier (7) L 3–5 Boston Red Sox Kauffman Stadium [38]
2000 Jeff Suppan ND (L) 4–5 Toronto Blue Jays SkyDome [39]
2001 Jeff Suppan (2) L 3–7 New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [40][41]
2002 Jeff Suppan (3) ND (L) 6–8 Minnesota Twins Kauffman Stadium [42][43]
2003 Runelvys Hernández W 3–0 Chicago White Sox Kauffman Stadium [44][45]
2004 Brian Anderson ND (W) 9–7 Chicago White Sox Kauffman Stadium [46][47]
2005 José Lima L 2–11 Detroit Tigers Comerica Park [48][49]
2006 Scott Elarton L 1–3 Detroit Tigers Kauffman Stadium [50][51]
2007 Gil Meche W 7–1 Boston Red Sox Kauffman Stadium [52][53]
2008 Gil Meche (2) ND (W) 5–4 Detroit Tigers Comerica Park [54][55]
2009 Gil Meche (3) ND (L) 2–4 Chicago White Sox U.S. Cellular Field [56]
2010 Zack Greinke ND (L) 4–8 Detroit Tigers Kauffman Stadium [6]
2011 Luke Hochevar L 2–4 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Kauffman Stadium [57]
2012 Bruce Chen L 0–5 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Angel Stadium of Anaheim [58]
2013 James Shields L 0–1 Chicago White Sox U.S. Cellular Field [59]
2014** James Shields (2) ND (L) 3–4 Detroit Tigers Comerica Park [60]
2015 Yordano Ventura W 10–1 Chicago White Sox Kauffman Stadium [61]
2016 Edinson Vólquez W 4–3 New York Mets Kauffman Stadium [62]
2017 Danny Duffy ND (L) 1–7 Minnesota Twins Target Field [63]
2018 Danny Duffy (2) L 7–14 Chicago White Sox Kauffman Stadium [64]
2019 Brad Keller W 5–3 Chicago White Sox Kauffman Stadium [65]
2020 Danny Duffy (3) L 0–2 Cleveland Indians Progressive Field [66]

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