DET 9, MIN 3: Third Out Eludes Gibson, Eades Debuts
Image courtesy of © Leon Halip-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Gibson: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 67.0% strikes (63 of 94 pitches)
Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Home Runs: Cruz (10)
Multi-Hit Games: Cruz (2-for-3, HR, BB)
WPA of +0.1: Cruz .102
WPA of -0.1: Gonzalez -.185, Gibson -.294
(chart via FanGraphs)
The key moment in this game came in the bottom of the second inning. Kyle Gibson retired the first two batters he faced, then got ahead of the next batter 0-2. One more strike and the good guys are back in the dugout.
Gibson’s next two pitches weren’t close enough to chase, however, evening the count at 2-2. Gibson manged to get a chase the fifth pitch, but the batter managed to hit a slider down and away into left field for a single to extend the inning.
Gibson lost an eight-pitch battle with the next batter, walking him on a two-seamer that was well outside the zone. He then hung a slider on the second pitch he threw to JaCoby Jones, who crushed a three-run homer.
That third out has been elusive for Gibson this season. In addition to the three-run homer, Gibson also gave up a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning. Entering today, opposing hitters had a .720 OPS with no outs, .648 OPS with one out and an .809 OPS with two outs against Gibby. Of the 11 home runs Gibson has now surrendered, six have come with two down.
That’s a strange trend, not only generally speaking, but also in comparison to Gibson’s career numbers. With both the 2019 league averages and Gibson’s overall career marks, OPS against shrinks the more outs there are.
It’s not like Gibson didn’t have good stuff today. He struck out eight batters and got 18 swinging strikes, which is the third-most whiffs he’s gotten in 12 starts this year.
Gibson’s short start created a nice opportunity for the Twins to get Ryan Eades his MLB debut. We’ve been privileged to some pretty special stories so far this season. Ryne Harper finally making his debut as a 30-year-old and cancer survivor/ultimate underdog Devin Smeltzer making it are about as good as it gets.
FSN managed to tug at my heartstrings pretty hard today, as they showed Eades’ wife in the stands, baby wearing their infant, crying her eyes out at seeing her husband on a major league mound for the first time. Beautiful moment to be able to witness.
Eades retired the first two men he faced, then walked the next two batters. Wes Johnson came out to the mound and probably said something along the lines of “hey, we’re not paying you by the hour,” and Eades retired the next batter to end the inning.
Eades came back out for the seventh and gave up a couple of hits. He was helped out by the combination of a bad send at third base and a good relay from Marwin Gonzalez to Miguel Sano to Jason Castro, but Eades ended up throwing two shutout innings. He struck out three batters and topped out at 95.5 mph.
Matt Magill followed Eades and struggled badly, once again. He gave up four runs on five hits. Over his last three appearances, Magill has surrendered 10 earned runs on 10 hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings.
Bats Struggle vs. Detroit Pen
The Tigers went with a bullpen game today and managed to hold the Twins to three runs on just six hits. They combined to strike out nine batters, Miguel Sano accounting for three of those punch outs. The Twins had just two extra-base hits today, Nelson Cruz’s 10th home run and Jorge Polanco’s 18th double of the season.
Really, the Twins as a whole just felt like the came out a little flat in this one.
Postgame With Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Sun at DET, 12:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Carpenter)
MIN 6, DET 3: Offense, Bullpen Come Through Late as Twins Take Opener
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