KC Monarchs return to Legends Field Wednesday as American Association playoffs continue

The Kansas City Monarchs are two wins from the finals.

Fresh off a first-round sweep in the American Association playoffs, the Monarchs started a new best-of-three series against the Sioux City Explorers on Monday at Lewis and Clark Park.

After losing Game 1 by a score of 8-1 on Monday night, the Monarchs will play host to Games 2 and 3 of the series on Wednesday and Thursday at Legends Field (first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. both days).

The Monarchs were dominant in their first-round effort. After blowing out the Sioux Falls Canaries on the road 9-1 in Wednesday’s series opener, Kansas City shut out the Birds 4-0 on Friday night to advance.

“Just coming into the playoffs is tough. You never really know how a team’s going to act and conduct themselves,” said Monarchs outfielder Jacob Robson, who homered in Game 2. “We’re really impressed with the way everybody’s handling themselves and showing up prepared, doing a great job.”

“If we’re showing up prepared, playing clean baseball, we’re probably going to win the whole thing.”


Hours after the Monarchs’ Game 1 win last Wednesday, catcher Chris Herrmann learned he’d earned the 2023 American Association Player of the Year award.

The eight-year MLB veteran tied for the AAPB lead with 88 RBIs on the season. He ranked third in the Association with a .355 average and second with a 1.056 OPS. He also placed second with a .439 on-base percentage, third with a .617 slugging percentage and tied for fifth with 23 home runs.

Herrmann accomplished all that as the Monarchs’ starting catcher, at one point catching 17 straight games.

The former Twins and Diamondbacks backstop said the honor was probably the second-biggest of his pro career, after making it to the major leagues.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to play this year. I just worked so hard this past offseason, got stronger,” Herrmann said. “It just shows you, hard work pays off.”

Herrmann is the team’s first Player of the Year honoree since 2004, when the club was called the T-Bones and played in the Northern League.


The Monarchs are facing a well-known opponent this week. Counting this year, Kansas City and Sioux City have met in the league semifinals in four of the past six seasons. The Monarchs are 2-1 in the previous three series.

In 2018, the Monarchs topped Sioux City 3-2 on their way to the league title. In 2019 the Explorers got their revenge with a 3-1 series win, though they lost to St. Paul in the finals. The Monarchs earned a 3-0 sweep in 2021 on their way to another championship.

The Explorers had Kansas City’s number in the regular season. The Monarchs were 3-9 against the X’s, their worst head-to-head record of any opponent all year. They claimed a memorable win in their last game against Sioux City, clinching their fourth straight division title on August 31 at Legends Field.

Ashton Goudeau will get the ball for Wednesday’s Game 2. A former big-leaguer, Goudeau threw five scoreless innings in KC’s Game 1 win at Sioux Falls.