September 9, 2023

By Fred Liggett

Labor Day is an annual holiday where many workers have the day off but this year a hard working pitcher for the Kansas City Royals went to work and had a very successful day. Royals left-handed pitcher Cole Ragans had been named the American League Pitcher of the Month for August on Sunday, Sept. 03. Ragans took the mound the very next day on Monday, Sept. 4 and gave the Royals and its fans a memorable performance.

Photo from Kansas City Royals

Ragans, 25, improved his record with a win to 6-4 on the season and lowered his ERA which started the day at 3.27. Ragans recorded seven strikeouts in six innings of work in what ended up to be a 12-1 Royals victory. Ragans had entered the fifth inning of the game with a no-hitter and the shutout didn’t end until the eighth inning when the Royals were using their bullpen.

All this success on a Sunny holiday afternoon was of no surprise for those following Ragans since his arrival in KC. Ragans was traded on June 30th to the Royals from the Texas Rangers for left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman. Since then Ragans has become the ninth different Royals pitcher to be named American League Pitcher of the Month. This is the first honor for a Royal since April 2009 when Zack Greinke earned the award. Royals manager Matt Quatraro on Monday morning said it’s “really exciting and doesn’t come along that often.”

After the easy Royals win thanks to Cole, Quatraro again spoke of the talented starting pitcher. Ragans “came out firing and getting the lead was nice.” Quatraro added “Ragans has different weapons to use.” Ragans led the majors in the month of August with a 1.72 ERA and 53 strikeouts. Ragans’ 53 strikeouts in 36.2 innings of work last month was the second most in franchise history only behind Dennis Leonard.

On Labor Day Ragans battled the heat and the Chicago White Sox and proved the month of August was not a matter of luck. Still going strong now in September, keep an eye on Ragans throughout the final month of the 2023 season.