MIN 2, KC 0: Gibson Shines on Night Honoring Mauer, Prince
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Gibson: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 62.5% strikes (55 of 88 pitches)
Bullpen: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Home Runs: Garver (11)
Multi-Hit Games: Adrianza (2-for-3)
WPA of +0.1: Gibson .566, Garver .276
WPA of -0.1: Polanco -.133, Rosario -.133, Schoop -.279
(chart via FanGraphs)
What we witnessed tonight wasn't even new. Gibson has been one of the most solid and trustworthy starters for the Twins in roughly the past two years. However, he was coming off a very rough start in which he gave up five earned runs over five innings against the Tigers last Saturday. That was the fourth time this season he gave up at least four earned runs.
Still, he's got plenty of credit. Entering the game, Gibby already led the Twins starters this year in swinging strike rate, at 13.9%, a career high for him. That ranks 14th among all pitchers in baseball. And this was the version of Kyle that led the Twins in this game, as he got 11 swinging strikes. During the sixth inning, Gibby also became the 11th pitcher in history to toss 1,000 innings in a Twins uniform. A nice addition to go with the night of memories and milestones,
The offense had a rare bad game, as the Twins' lineup struggled against Royals' starter Brad Keller. He gave up only three hits. The Twins went 0-for-5 with men in scoring position and grounded into two double plays. But this is the 2019 Twins offense we're talking about.
They managed to win this game with one swing of the bat late, as Mitch Garver hit a clutch home run in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Jake Diekman.
SETH EDIT/UPDATE: I recorded the interview with Mitch Garver following the game. Check it out here:
Taylor Rogers, the sole superstar in the recently unstable Twins bullpen, earned his seventh save of the season with only ten pitches. He came in to the game in the ninth inning even though Gibson had only 88 pitches at that point. It was Roger’s first outing in over a week and he showed he’s still sharp.
Minnesota improves to 46-22, which is a season-best 24 games over .500. The Twins also maintained a comfortable lead in the AL Central, now sitting at 11 games ahead of Cleveland, and still have the best record in baseball. You couldn’t ask for a better Mauer/Prince celebration.
Postgame With Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
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