Kansas City Royals Countdown: Top 10 Individual Pitching Seasons

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DETROIT, MI – July 24: Kelvin Herrera

Honorable Mention

Here’s a few of the best seasons that didn’t make the cut:

Larry Gura 1978

Gura had a handful of solid seasons in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His 1978 campaign makes this list of honorable mentions as Gura posted a 16-4 record with a 2.72 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He made 35 appearances with eight complete games, including two shutouts, among his 26 starts.

Kelvin Herrera 2014

Herrera landed on the All-Star team in 2015 and 2016, but his best year actually occurred in 2014. He went 70 innings with no home runs allowed. That alone is incredible. He also finished with a 4-3 record and a career-low 1.41 ERA. His WHIP wasn’t as low as his subsequent two years, but overall his 2014 season was his best—plus he won Game 2 of the World Series. Always a nice bonus.

Charlie Leibrandt 1985

Leibrandt garnered Cy Young award votes in just one season—you guessed it, 1985. He finished fifth after racking up 17 wins in 33 starts. His 2.69 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 237 2/3 innings helped the Kansas City Royals reach the postseason. He went just 1-3 in the playoffs, although he did post a 2.76 ERA in two World Series starts.

Jeff Montgomery 1989

The right-hander relief pitcher led the league in saves in 1993, while also making the All-Star team. However, he his best season came in 1989—before he made the full-time move to closer. Montgomery put up a stellar 1.37 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP to go along with a 7-3 mark. The FSKC contributor also had his best strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career at 3.76:1.

Joakim Soria 2010

Soria hasn’t been great in his second stint with the Kansas City Royals, but he put together some fabulous seasons as the closer during his first run with the club. In 2010, he collected 43 saves with a 4.44:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His ERA (1.78) and WHIP (1.05) were both outstanding, as well. The righty earned his second All-Star nod, while finishing 10th in Cy Young and 19th in MVP voting.

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