Vargas' shutout gives Royals' bullpen a break

Vargas' shutout gives Royals' bullpen a break

KANSAS CITY -- The effect of Jason Vargas' 3-0 shutout of the A's on Wednesday night extended further than improving his team's record as manager Ned Yost got to rest his bullpen as well.

Yost's top three relievers -- Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland -- were merely observers.

"It's a huge effect. From here on out, there's going to be many instances where Kelvin, Wade and Holly are going to have to go back-to-back days," Yost said. "So any time you can buy them two days' rest -- they didn't pitch last night, they didn't pitch today -- it's imperative we do that.

The trio has combined for 148 innings, 190 strikeouts and a 1.40 ERA.

"If it was earlier in the season or these guys hadn't had such a huge workload, Wade would have probably been in that game in the eighth inning and Holly in the ninth," Yost said. "But the way Vargy was throwing, it bought us an extra day's rest for those guys, to get them back."

Vargas and James Shields are the first Kansas City pitchers to throw shutouts in the same week since Runelvys Hernandez and Mark Redman did in 2006.

Additionally, Vargas, Shields and Jeremy Guthrie each threw complete games in the last seven days. Darrell May and Paul Byrd were the last Royals to throw three complete games in that span during the 2002 season. Byrd accounted for two of the three that week.

Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.