MIN 7, KC 6: Twins Come Back From 3-Run Deficit
Image courtesy of © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
MIN 7, KC 6: Full Box Score
Gibson: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 57.2% strikes
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Astudillo (3-for-5, 2B), Garver (3-for-4, 2B), Rosario (2-for-4, 2B, BB)
WPA of +0.1: May .269, Rosario .238, Garver .144, Cruz .113, Kepler .109
WPA of -0.1: Gibson -.469
Gibby Gets Started
Last April, Gibson averaged 92.2 mph on his four-seam fastball and gained a bit of velocity as the season progressed. With his illness putting him a little bit behind schedule, I was curious to see where he would be today. You could have certainly given him a pass if things were lagging behind a bit. No pass needed.
Gibson topped out at 95.1 mph, averaging 93.4 mph on that pitch. It’s just one outing, but that bout with E. coli really put a cloud over Gibson’s winter. Great to see him come out of the gates looking strong.
Gibson was cruising through the first 4 2/3 innings, but things completely fell apart from there. He walked Billy Hamilton, who stole second base and was driven in on a single. No error was charged, but Ehire Adrianza played what could have been an inning-ending ground out into a single, then Alex Gordon hit a three-run homer. The bleeding didn’t stop there.
Jorge Polanco, who had made a couple nifty defensive plays earlier in the game, committed a throwing error. Two more singles and another run later and Gibson’s day was done. He gave up just one run on three hits up until that big Royals rally, but that terrible turn of events put a very negative spin on his 2019 debut.
Mejia Holds Steady
Adalberto Mejia took over for Gibson and stopped the bleeding. He got the final out of that messy fifth inning and followed with two more clean innings. He’s opened the season with three no-hit innings and has struck out five batters.
Max Bests a Lefty
That performance by Mejia bought some time for the bats to fire back. Max Kepler delivered a game-tying, two-out, two-run double off southpaw Jake Diekman in the eighth inning.
Nelson Cruz drew a six-pitch walk to lead off the ninth inning. Byron Buxton, who was not in the starting lineup due to a back injury, pinch ran for him and stole second base. Eddie Rosario worked a full count, then delivered the go-ahead single to plate Buxton.
Big Bullpen Day
With Gibson having a bit of a short start and Taylor Rogers coming off a 29-pitch outing the night before, this was an opportunity to get a glimpse at how Baldelli may be inclined to manage his bullpen. After Mejia served admirably as the long man, Trevor May took over in the eighth. He held the bottom of Kansas City’s lineup scoreless, then returned for the ninth.
After retiring the first two batters of the ninth inning, May was taken out for Blake Parker. Parker induced a game-ending ground out from Alex Gordon to earn his second save of the season.
Today marked the first starts for Tyler Austin (first base), Ehire Adrianza (second base) and Jake Cave (right field) this season. Also, Kepler played center field in place of Buxton, who was nursing a sore back after crashing into the wall. It’s interesting to see Rocco Baldelli go with Kepler in center over Cave. Paul Molitor went with that alignment nine times last season but had Cave in center field and Kepler in right 52 times.
Postgame With Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Fri at PHI, 6:05 pm CT
Sat at PHI, 1:05 pm CT
Sun at PHI, 12:05 pm CT
MIN 5, KC 4 (10 Innings): Cruz Steps Up
More From Twins Daily
Three Catcher Conundrum
Gleeman & The Geek, Ep 419: Tuesday Taproom Tour from Able Brewery
- verninski, operation mindcrime and caninatl04 like this