Tag Archives: Kyle Gibson

Game 51: white Sox @ Twins

So. This team can put it in the seats , sure. But can they grind out nine innings of stringing together a bit every other inning, scoring a single run while pitching to contact and losing by six? Because I think I speak for everyone when I say that is the kind of baseball we've become accustomed to in Minnesota.

Until these guys know what it means to consistently load the bases with infield singles, then run themselves out of the inning by getting picked off each one of the bases, are these guys even Minnesota Twins? I submit that they are not.

But I suppose they'll do.

2019 Recap: Game Thirty-five

MINNESOTA 9, TORONTO 1 IN TORONTO

Date:  Wednesday, May 8.

Batting stars:  Jorge Polanco was 5-for-5 with a two-run homer (his seventh) and a double, scoring twice.  C. J. Cron was 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, his seventh.  Eddie Rosario was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirteenth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his sixth.  Max Kepler was 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson struck out eleven in six shutout innings, giving up two hits and one walk.  Ryne Harper pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Mike Morin pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Blake Parker pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Billy McKinney was 1-for-3 with a home run, his second.  Derek Law struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  The Twins threatened to take a big lead in the first inning.  Singles by Kepler and Polanco put men on first and third with none out.  A popup and an Eddie Rosario sacrifice fly put them up 1-0.  Cron singled and Marwin Gonzalez walked to load the bases, but Mitch Garver popped up, leaving the score 1-0.

It didn't matter.  In the second, Kepler walked and Polanco homered, making the score 3-0.  In the third, Rosario singled and Cron homered, and later in the inning Gonzalez singled and Schoop homered, making the score 7-0.  McKinney got the Blue Jays on the board with a home run in the fifth, but in the sixth Polanco doubled and Rosario homered to put the Twins ahead 9-1.

Other than the home run, the only time the Blue Jays got a man as far as second was the ninth, on a walk and a fielder's choice.  It was total dominance by Gibson and three relief pitchers.

WP:  Gibson (3-1).  LP:  Trent Thornton (0-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Garver was 1-for-5 and is batting .354.  Polanco is batting .344.  Harper has an ERA of 1.84.  Parker has an ERA of 1.54.  Morin's ERA is 3.00.

As you probably heard, Polanco is the first Twin to have more than one five-hit game in a season since Joe Mauer in 2010.

Four two-run homers in one game is probably not the record, but it would seem like it has to be at least within shouting distance of it.

Going into the Houston series a week and a half ago, I said that after the next ten games we'd have a better idea of how good the Twins are.  Well, they went 7-3 in those ten games.  Two of the losses were games started by Michael Pineda, and at that only one of them was a blowout--in the other, the Twins just ran into a really good pitcher they couldn't do much with, which happens to everybody sometimes.  It seems to me that we have to say this is a good baseball team.

That's not to say they're going to win the World Series.  I do think they're now the favorites to win the division, though.  They might not do it--it's a long season, and lots of things can happen (injuries, slumps, etc.).  But it's looking good now.  That's why I hope the front office is not willing to settle for just winning the division, and is looking for ways to improve the team so it can actually go somewhere in the playoffs.  Again, I say that not knowing what deals may be available to them.  I'm not advocating a move of the Ramos-for-Capps variety.  But I think they have a real chance this year, and you never know for sure how many of them you're going to get.  When you get one, I think you need to go for it.

Record:  The Twins are 23-12, first in the American League Central, four games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 150-12!

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-five

MINNESOTA 4, BALTIMORE 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, April 28.

Batting stars:  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with a home run (his seventh) and two runs.  Byron Buxton was 1-for-3 with a home run.  Marwin Gonzalez was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings, giving up one run on three hits and no walks and striking out six.  Trevor Hildenberger pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Blake Parker struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Chris Davis was 1-for-2 with a home run, his third.

The game:  Jonathan Villar led off the game with a double for the Orioles but did not score.  It cost them, as Kepler led off the bottom of the first with a home run to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  It went to 4-0 in the third.  Buxton led off the inning with a home run and Kepler followed with a double.  The next two batters went out, but walks to Eddie Rosario and C. J. Cron loaded the bases and Gonzalez delivered a two-run single.

Meanwhile, Gibson was in control.  Through six innings, Baltimore only once got a man to third base.  With two out in the seventh, Davis hit a home run to cut the lead to 4-1, but that was as good as it got for them.  They got only one more hit, a two-out double in the eighth, and did not get the tying run up to bat.

WP:  Gibson (2-0).  LP:  Dylan Bundy (0-4).  S:  Parker (5).

Notes:  Mitch Garver was 0-for-3 and is batting .372.  Jorge Polanco was 1-for-4 and is batting .337.  Hildenberger has an ERA of 1.93.  Parker's ERA is 1.08.

It came as something of a surprise to me that Kepler has seven home runs already.  He must have gotten them when I wasn't paying attention or something.  His career high is twenty, set last year.  One would think he has a good chance of bettering that this season.

This was Gibson's second consecutive solid start.  Both came against Baltimore, of course.  If he can sustain that over his next couple of outings, it will be a really good sign for the Twins' rotation.

In fact, this next week and a half or so will tell us a lot about just how good the Twins are.  They host Houston for four, have three in New York with the Yankees, and then go to Toronto for three.  If they can handle that stretch of games, we just may have something this season.

Record:  The Twins are 16-9, first in the American League Central, two games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 153-9!

 

2019 Recap: Game Five

MINNESOTA 7, KANSAS CITY 6 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Wednesday, April 3.

Batting stars:  Mitch Garver was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Willians Astudillo was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs.  Eddie Rosario was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Adalberto Mejia struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk.  Trevor May pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit.

Opposition stars:  Alex Gordon was 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk, and four RBIs.  Ryan O'Hearn was 2-for-4.  Adalberto Mondesi was 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs.

The game:  The Royals again got on the board in the first inning, as Mondesi hit a one-out triple and Gordon followed with an RBI single.  The Twins tied it in the second when Rosario led off with a double and Astudillo followed with an RBI single.

The Twins got a two-out double from Jorge Polanco in the third but could do nothing with it.  They took the lead in the fourth, however, as Astudillo singled and Jake Cave walked.  Garver put the Twins ahead with a run-scoring double, but Cave was thrown out at the plate.  Ehire Adrianza hit a sacrifice fly, though, and the Twins had a 3-1 lead.

The Royals missed a chance in the bottom of the fourth when Jorge Soler was thrown out trying to steal home as part of a double steal.  They came back big in the fifth, though.  The first two batters went out.  Billy Hamilton walked, stole second, and scored on a Whit Merrifield single.  Mondesi followed with an infield hit that Dazzle said Adrianza should have turned into the third out.  It cost the Twins, as Gordon followed with a three-run homer to put Kansas City up 5-3.  Kansas City wasn't done.  Soler reached on an error, O'Hearn singled, and Chris Owings singled to make the score 6-3.  It was not looking good for the visiting Twins.

They bounced right back, however.  In the sixth, Astudillo hit a one-out double and Garver delivered a two-out single to cut the margin to 6-4.  In the eighth, Garver hit a one-out single, Tyler Austin had a two-out double, and Max Kepler tied the score with a double.  Then, in the ninth, Nelson Cruz led off with a walk.  Pinch-runner Byron Buxton stole second and scored on Rosario's single to give the Twins a 7-6 advantage.  The Royals went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  May (1-0).  LP:  Wily Peralta (0-1).  S:  Blake Parker (2).

Notes:  Kyle Gibson started and pitched well for four innings.  His final line, however, is 4.2 innings, six runs (five earned), eight hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.  He was not helped by his defense in the fifth.  it also seems likely that, as he continues to gain strength after his bout with e coli, he tired as he tried to get five outs in the fifth inning.  Time will tell, but I don't see any reason to hold that inning against him.

As Buxton was used as a pinch-runner and stole a base, I assume there are no linger effects from his collision with the fence Tuesday night.

This was the third time Adalberto Mejia and Adalberto Mondesi appeared in the same game.  The other times were August 20, 2016 and May 21, 2017.  There has only been one other major league player named "Adalberto".  Right-hander Adalberto Mendez appeared in five games for Florida in 2010.  Thus, there has never been a major league player named "Adalberto" whose last name did not start with "M".

4-1 is obviously a good start.  We don't know how good yet, because we don't know how the teams are that the Twins have been playing.  Cleveland is supposed to be good, and maybe they will be, but they've had injuries and don't look like a very good team at the moment.  The Royals appear to have some talent, but every time they look like they're starting to put it together they do some things to remind you that they're the Royals.  This is not intended as criticism of the Twins--you can only play the teams on your schedule, and no matter who you play you still have to go out and beat them.  The only point, which is probably obvious, is that I don't know if we have a very good read on how good the Twins are going to be yet.

But on the other hand, we also don't have a very good read on how good they need to be.  Cleveland is supposed to be the class of the division, and it still may turn out that way.  But if it's not them, who is it?  Kansas City?  Detroit?  Chicago?  Any of those teams could turn out to be good, of course, but it's not looking like it right now.  You don't necessarily have to be a great team to win a division--you just have to be better than the other four teams in it.  It's entirely possible that the Twins will be able to do that.

Record:  The Twins are 4-1, in first place in the American League Central, one game ahead of Detroit.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 161-1!

2019 Game 5: twins @ royals

Sorry if I'm stepping on any toes. I figure that we're all still getting into the swing of things here.

We're getting a bit of an "off day" lineup, with Cave, Garver, Austin, and Adrianza all in the lineup. The thing that matters most, though, is that La Tortuga is playing third.

Kyle Gibson will try to keep the momentum going on the way to hopefully continuing the bit of a breakout he experienced last season. It would be huge if he was able to do that.