Strasmas Bumped TV Ratings For Kansas City

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Guillen On Strasburg: 'The Kid Is Pretty Good'

I can imagine Jose Guillen saying this:

"Now I realize everything people have been talking about," Royals right-fielder Jose Guillen said. "I'm like: 'Who's this guy? 'They're talking about him like he's a Hall of Famer.' That's the way people have been talking about him, and today I realized that kid is pretty good."

Guillen, by the way, has an argument for MVP of that game with the lone RBI. If not for Brian Bannister's performance, he'd be a shoo-in.

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Stephen Strasburg Bumps TV Ratings In Kansas City

Strasmas didn't deliver in the win department but he did in the ratings department, according to Rustin Dobb of the Kansas City Star's Royals blog.

According to officials at Fox Sports Kansas City, the live telecast generated a 2.71 household rating, a mark just below the season average of 2.8.

*In simple terms, this means 2.71 percent of TV households in Kansas City were tuned in at any given time during the game. According to the data, courtesy of Nielsen Media Research, the 2.71 mark translates to an average of 25,420 households tuned in.

The last weekday afternoon game on FOX Sports Kansas City (10 total) that topped those numbers was opening day.

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Bannister: 'We Were On The Nice List For Strasmas This Year'

I don't really have anything to add other than I thought this line from Brian Bannister was pretty hilarious:

"I think we were on the nice list for Strasmas this year," Royals starter Brian Bannister said. "It's a tough list to get on to."

SB Nation's DC site has been talking up Strasmas big time over the last few weeks. It's nice that Kansas City can one-up them in this particular case.

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Royals' Jose Guillen Says Stephen Strasburg Lives Up To The Hype

The Royals on Wednesday got their first shot at phenom Stephen Strasburg. As you know by now, the story of the day was actually Brian Bannister, who pitched seven innings of shutout ball as opposed to Strasburg's one earned run.

Royals outfielder Jose Guillen said on Wednesday: He's as good as advertised.

"His fastball, his slider, his changeup -- every pitch is unbelievable," Guillen said. "He's really special. Now I realize everything the people have been talking about him."

Royals manager Ned Yost previously said he wanted to see Strasburg's command that goes with the speed.

"[Nationals right-hander] Livan Hernandez showed us what you can do if you command an 83-mph fastball," Yost said. "You can compete. Now if you can control a 97-98-mph fastball, you dominate. With his breaking ball and his changeup, that kid has a chance to dominate."

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Full Recap: Brian Bannister, Royals Shut Out Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jose Guillen's single in the fifth inning scored David DeJesus with the only run of the game, as the Kansas City Royals defeated Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals, 1-0, in the finale of a three-game interleague series.

Guillen finished with two hits and extended his hitting streak to 18 games, while DeJesus also had a pair of hits for Kansas City, which snapped a five- game slide.

Brian Bannister (7-5) earned the win for surrendering only five hits, two walks while striking out four in six innings of work. Joakim Soria notched his 17th save of the season with a perfect bottom of the ninth.

Adam Dunn had two of the six hits for the Nationals, who, despite winning the series, have dropped seven of nine.

Strasburg (2-1) was saddled with his first major league loss in making his fourth career start. The rookie right-hander worked six innings, allowing one run on nine hits and fanning nine without issuing a walk. He threw 95 pitches, 75 for strikes.

The former No. 1 overall pick lowered his earned run average to 1.78 and has now struck out 41 batters in 25 1/3 innings this season.

Strasburg pitched out of trouble in the second, third and fourth innings. Then in the fifth, he gave up two-out singles to DeJesus and Billy Butler to put runners on the corners before Guillen's base hit to right scored DeJesus with the only run.

Washington threatened in the home half, putting runners on first and third with nobody out, but Bannister settled down to retire the bottom three hitters in the lineup and keep it a 1-0 game.

The Nationals were denied a run in the sixth when Dunn singled to right and Guillen threw out Roger Bernadina at home plate.

Robinson Tejeda took over for Bannister and tossed a perfect bottom of the seventh, then gave up a two-out single to Bernadina in the eighth. After Bernadina stole second, Ryan Zimmerman went down on strikes to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Soria came on and retired the side in quick order to polish off the win.

Despite the loss, the Montreal Expos/Nationals franchise have won seven of the nine matchups between the teams, including all three contests at Olympic Stadium back in 2002...KC improved to 113-131 in interleague action, while the Nationals fell to 117-127.

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Brian Bannister And The Royals Shut Out Stephen Strasburg And The Nationals

Not a bad victory at all for the Royals, who hand Stephen Strasburg his first loss as a major leaguer.

I mentioned before the game that Brian Bannister was kind of the forgotten player in this game but at the end, he was the MVP.

Bannister erased memories of Atlanta and Cincinnati and pitched shutout ball.

Joakim Soria came on in the 9th for the save.

Meanwhile, Jose Guillen continued his hitting to 18 games. He was 2-for-4 with the lone RBI.

More on the Royals at Royals Review.

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As It Turns Out, Stephen Strasburg Does Beat The Weather At Start Of Royals Game

Earlier we passed along a poll asking which would be higher: The temperature at the start of the Royals and Nationals game or Stephen Strasburg's first pitch.

As it turns out, Strasburg won.

  • Weather: 95 degrees
  • Strasburg: 96 mph

So I guess man sort of beat nature.

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Stephen Strasburg Against Royals Will Bring In Roughly 17,000 More Fans

I said earlier that the Royals need someone to cause some excitement, like Stephen Strasburg (duh).

Here's how much "excitement" he would bring.

Attendance at his games so far:

  • June 8 at D.C.: 40,315
  • June 13 at CLE: 32,876
  • June 18: at D.C.: 40,325

And the average for both:

  • Average attendance in D.C.: 23,040
  • Average attendance in CLE: 16,343

Basically an extra 17,000 fans in D.C.

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Brian Bannister Wouldn't Mind A Greinke Vs. Strasburg Matchup

Royals pitcher Brian Bannister talked with FOX Sports Kansas City before the game against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. He indicated that, dating back to last week, the Royals had this game in mind.

We had this debate about who should pitcher Friday in Atlanta because we knew who ever pitched that game would have to go against Strasburg.

I thought, Greinke. It would have been an amazing matchup, Greinke vs. Strasburg. Then Greinke would've gotten to hit twice which would have been fun. It's going to be fun. It'll be a huge crowd and I'll get to see his stuff up close and personal.

I gotta say, I agree. That would have been a great, great matchup. Alas, it's Bannister.

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Royals Manager Ned Yost Weighs In On Stephen Strasburg

Royals manager Ned Yost, like everyone else, wants to see Stephen Strasburg in person. He's heard all the hype, now it's time to check it out himself, he tells FOX Sports Kansas City.

What I'm intrigued to see is a guy with that kind of stuff, his command. That's what intrigues me because if you have command, you can pitch with an 83 MPH fastball, like Livan Hernandez proved to us the other day.  If you've got 97mph stuff, the great curveball and command, you dominate. This kid's career has been domination to this point.

The last time a guy like him who really came through the big leagues that I can remember was Dwight Gooden. To have that kind of stuff, that kind of hype behind him and to be able to back it up.

Gooden came into the league in 1984 and quickly dominated. He had one of the best seasons ever for a pitcher in just his second year so that's a good goal to have.

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Oh, Brian Bannister Is Pitching Today, Too

The story of today's Royals and Nationals game -- and the reason MLB Network is carrying it -- is Stephen Strasburg's fourth start.

For the Royals, Brian Bannister is pitching, and that's interesting for Kansas City folks because he's trying to recover from two pretty bad starts in a row.

On June 12, Bannister gave up 11 runs in three-plus innings against the Reds. His next start, last Friday against the Braves, and gave up five runs in four innings.

“What happened in Cincinnati,” Bannister said, “I hadn’t gotten over that when I pitched in Atlanta. But I’ve had another five days, and it’s my job to go out there and be ready to go. And I will be.”

That's 16 runs in seven-plus innings.

Today Bannister will try to, you know, not give up 16 runs in seven innings.

For more on Wednesday's game, check out Royals Review.

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What Will Be Higher: Speed Of Stephen Strasburg's First Pitch Or Temperature In Washington D.C.?

The Washington Post has a good poll question on their site:

Strasburg_medium

This is actually a legitimately tough question.

The current temperature in D.C. is around 94 degrees. At game time, it's expected to hit 95.

Strasburg, meanwhile, has been clocked as high as 101. If he throws a fastball to start, I can see him topping 95 easily.

We've got a few sites for you if you're interested in Strasmas: Royals Review, Federal Baseball and SB Nation D.C.

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Royals May Be Best Test Yet For Nationals Pitcher Stephen Strasburg

I know, the title sound crazy, right? The Royals the best test for the best young pitcher in the game?

Well, they just might be.

Here's two reasons why:

1. The Royals lead the American League in batting average (.280) so they can make contact -- something not a lot of hitters have done against Strasburg.

2. The Royals are second to the bottom in strikeouts allowed (386). Strasburg of course has set a record fanning 32 players in his first three career starts.

The reason why Strasburg can still win?

Those hits aren't turning into runs for the Royals. They're 8th in runs scored.

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Royals Tweak Line-Up In Preparation For Stephen Strasburg

Here's the line-up for Stasmas. The Royals changed things up a little today. In parentheses below are the two changes they made compared to Tuesday.

  1. Podsednik - LF
  2. Kendall - C
  3. DeJesus - CF
  4. Butler - 1B
  5. Guillen - RF
  6. Callaspo - 3B
  7. Betancourt - SS (Aviles)
  8. Getz - 2B (Betancourt)
  9. Bannister - P

Hey, did you guys hear Stephen Strasburg is pitching today?

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What's It Like To Face Stephen Strasburg? Here's One Account As The Royals Await

The Kansas City Star's Royals blog has an interesting article of a first-hand account of what it's like to face Stephen Strasburg. Corey Shimada, former minor league player, described what it was like over the last few years before he got into the big leagues.

“I don’t have any words to describe how fast it is,” Shimada says, “or how hard it is to hit.”

“That was the game he topped off at 101 on a few different scouts’ guns,” Shimada said. “And he actually struck us out 23 times.” Yes. 30 totals batters. 23 total strikeouts. It was a school record, and a conference record… “And that was definitely the moment,” Shimada says, “when I was like, ‘Wow,’ this guy is pretty legit.”

Several Royals players have already weighed in on what it's going to be like facing him. You can read about that here.

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The Royals Need Someone That Brings Strasburg-Level Excitement

The Royals and Nationals aren't that different. Both are struggling (although the Nationals are doing better) and both have basically no shot at the playoffs and they haven't for several years.

But the Nationals have Stephen Strasburg, who adds another 25,000 into the seats on gamedays. The Royals, meanwhile, have Zack Greinke. He was the Cy Young award winner last year and attendance usually rose when he was pitching but it wasn't to Strasburg-levels.

Dave Lyons, owner of a bar near the Nationals stadium, says he's never seen anything like Strasmas, according to the Kansas City Star's Royals blog.

People are actually talking about the Nationals. The Mug has been packed for every Strasburg outing, starting with Strasburg’s historic debut against the Pirates on June 8. And there’s a buzz — a genuine exuberance — in every little quadrant of the city.

“We actually have a reason to watch,” he says.

And:

“I went to the first game he pitched,” Lyons says, “and that was a sight. I’d never seen the stadium like that. It was like a real game.”

I'm not sure the Royals can get anyone to quite match the Strasburg-level of excitement because this doesn't happen very often but it would be nice to have Kauffman packed to the brim -- even if it was just once every five games.

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Royals Facing Phenom Stephen Strasburg At 3:35 PM (CDT)

The Kansas City Star sports department usually comes up with a photo gallery for events around Kansas City. if the Royals have a solid game, then they'll create a photo gallery. If the Chiefs cut a player, then it's a photo gallery.

The preview for the Stephen Strasburg game, it's a photo gallery.

The game kicks off at 3:35 PM (that's central) in Washington D.C. The game is expected to drastically increase attendance -- despite the Nationals pulling in around 15,000 per game for the first two games of this series.

Strasburg has won two of his first three starts and has a whopping 32 strikeouts over three games to start his career. Yes, that's the most ever. The White Sox are the only AL team to strike out fewer teams than the Royals and Strasburg has 10 strikeouts against them. The Royals do have among the league lead in batting average though.

"As a group we're going to try to come up with an offensive game plan to try to put some runs up against him," said left fielder Scott Podsednik. "It'll be fun to go out and battle arguably one of the guys that they say has some of the best stuff in the league."

"I just want to wait for tomorrow and see what he's got. I can't tell you right now because I've never faced him. Just wait until tomorrow," said third baseman Alberto Callaspo.

We're counting down the house. The game will be aired on FOX Sports Kansas City as well as the MLB Network.

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