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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/30): Bats Back Up Gibson, Twins Win 6th Straight


They hit only one home run, but the Twins offense erupted to score 13 runs on 14 hits and secure their sixth consecutive win (matching a season-high), beating the Tigers 13-5. Kyle Gibson wasn’t sharp to start the game and couldn’t take advantage of the early run support, but he eventually did get back on his feet.Box Score

Gibson: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 69.1% strikes (74 of 107 pitches)

Bullpen: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K

 

Home Runs: Cron (23)

Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2-for-5, RBI), Polanco (3-for-4), Cruz (3-for-4, 2 RBI), Rosario (2-for-5, 3 RBI), Cron (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI)

 

Top 3 WPA: Polanco .125, Kepler .113, Cron .104

 

The Tigers put up a fight early, as Gibson got off to a slow start, but the Twins scored in four of the first five innings. Despite not being as sharp as he’s been during the first half of the season, Gibby was the winning pitcher for the second consecutive start, which happened for only the second time since June 1. August was the month he posted his worst ERA of the season, 6.11. He finished his outing on a positive note, however, retiring 11 of the last 13 men he faced.

 

This was the eighth consecutive win for the Twins on the road, matching a club record set in 2006. At 83-51, the Twins are 32 games above .500 for the first time since September 22, 2010. That’s also the third time in the past nine years that Minnesota reached that many wins in a season. The club is now on pace to win 100 games, something that happened only one other time in Minnesota Twins history (1965, 102 wins). With the Cleveland loss in Tampa, the Twins now have a four-and-a-half game lead over the Indians, their largest since July 16.

 

Offense bails Gibson slippery beginning

Gibson was given a 4-0 lead before he took the mound. The Twins started out aggressively and hitting three straight singles after getting a leadoff walk. They had a three-run lead before the Tigers recorded an out. Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario and Luis Arráez each batted in a run, while Miguel Sanó reached on a fielder’s choice.

 

Gibby allowed two runs on five hits in a 35-pitch first inning. Three of the seven batters he faced produced at-bats of at least six pitches.

 

Fortunately, small ball kept working for the Twins, as Max Kepler doubled to bring home another leadoff walk in Jason Castro and he later scored on a Cruz sacrifice fly. Minnesota regained a four-run lead, winning 6-2 after two.

 

But again, the Tigers gained some ground in the third. Gibson allowed three straight hits to start the inning, two of those being doubles, and Detroit scored another run. With runners on the corners, he managed to catch a break, inducing an inning-ending ground ball double play.

 

Twins take advantage of sloppy Tiger defense

Minnesota scored two more runs in the third, with a little help from the Detroit defense. The Twins loaded the bases with one out after outfielders Victor Reyes and Harold Castro got under a C.J. Cron pop up but couldn’t make the catch. That was when Ron Gardenhire pulled the plug on starter Edwin Jackson. Reliever Matt Hall couldn’t take care of the inherited runners. Jake Cave grounded out to score Arráez and Castro scored on a passed ball to make it 8-3.

 

Meanwhile, Gibson picked up the pace a little bit and pitched his first 1-2-3 inning. To make things easier, he got more run support, as the offense slugged its way to a four-run fourth highlighted by a three-run homer from Cron to make it 12-3 Minnesota.

 

 

Bullpen cools things down

The Tigers responded in the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run from John Hicks. Gibby handed over the game to the bullpen in the sixth inning and it couldn’t have been in better hands. Coming into this game with the most fWAR in baseball in the previous seven days (0.8), the Twins relievers took care of business. Tyler Duffey and Trevor May were simply lights-out, with Duffey coming up just short of an immaculate inning (nine strikes on ten pitches).

 

Sam Dyson allowed a solo homer to Ronny Rodriguez in the eighth inning before Sergio Romo closed the books in the ninth. Twins relievers combined for eight strikeouts, one more than the entire Tigers team. Eddie Rosario helped the cause with an RBI single in the eighth.

 

Postgame With Baldelli

 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.

 

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Ladies & Gentlemen, meet Kyle Gibson, the man with an 8.1 million dollar arm and a 50 cent head.

 

Truly a talented pitcher who is, "all over the place."  Somebody puh-leez call Annie Savoy to send this guy some garters.

 

Gotta take your victories where you can get 'em, though.  Now 17 wins away from 100 with 28 games left.  Magic number is 24.  Pressure is shifting from chased to chaser.

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There’s only three teams in mlb who have a better home record than we have road record. We’re +5 games ahead of the second best road team. We’re closer to having a better road record than any team has a home record than we are to the second best road team.

Crazy.

 

Well most likely the Twins would start the ALDS with 2 away games, so hopefully their trend of doing well on the road continues into October.

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Yesterday was Friday, August 30.  It was the 134th game of the year putting the Twins 83% of the way through the season.  The Twins hit 1 home run upping their record-breaking season total to 262 home runs.  They are now only 6 home runs short of setting a new single-season MLB record.

 

Just a side note.  I'll be leaving the country tomorrow and I have no idea what access I'll have to the internet.  I'll try to keep doing daily updates on the home runs but between the seven hour time difference and the travel, I may miss a day or two over the next two weeks.

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Nice to keep this streak going. It's true that Berrios looked marginally better yesterday, but Gibson must have everyone scratching their heads.The bats and lots of sloppy play from the Tigers notched the win for Gibson. He should buy everyone a steak. That's 20 hits in 10 innings against inarguably the worst hitting team in baseball and he gets two Ws to boot. Maybe something is wrong with his mechanics as well?

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The easier schedule is paying dividends this weekend.

 

But things change over the next two weeks with Cleveland, Boston and Washington on tap.

 

Twins need to be challenged, especially the pitching, to be ready for playoffs.

 

But, like the idea of a cushion, hopefully 6 or 7 games in the loss column. Give Cleveland some pressure.

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Yesterday was Friday, August 30.  It was the 134th game of the year putting the Twins 83% of the way through the season.  The Twins hit 1 home run upping their record-breaking season total to 262 home runs.  They are now only 6 home runs short of setting a new single-season MLB record.

 

Just a side note.  I'll be leaving the country tomorrow and I have no idea what access I'll have to the internet.  I'll try to keep doing daily updates on the home runs but between the seven hour time difference and the travel, I may miss a day or two over the next two weeks.

 

Dude I have a sinking feeling the Twins are going to break the record when you're "out-of-office"...crazy timing, eh? Then again, if you're in a country where you're not sure about the Internet access, I'm guessing you're hitting up the Caribbean or Mexico or something. And so we can't feel toooo sorry for you.

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The easier schedule is paying dividends this weekend.

 

But things change over the next two weeks with Cleveland, Boston and Washington on tap.

 

Twins need to be challenged, especially the pitching, to be ready for playoffs.

 

But, like the idea of a cushion, hopefully 6 or 7 games in the loss column. Give Cleveland some pressure.

 

A Rays sweep while the Twins sweep the Tigers (keeping fingers crossed) would be so gigantic. Right now I'd even be happy if the Twins just won their next two games, regardless of what Cleveland does. Would love to see that lead grow to 6-7 as the Twins enter the next 1.5 weeks of the schedule.

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Dude I have a sinking feeling the Twins are going to break the record when you're "out-of-office"...crazy timing, eh? Then again, if you're in a country where you're not sure about the Internet access, I'm guessing you're hitting up the Caribbean or Mexico or something. And so we can't feel toooo sorry for you.

More like hitting up the Jamison's distillery and the Guinness brewery.

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Is it within realm to call Gibson the same pitcher that Nick Blackburn was, with the exception that Gibson gets more Ks?

Gibson gets more Ks, gives up fewer hits, fewer walks, fewer home runs, has a lower ERA, a lower WHIP, a lower FIP, has more wins, and has three times as many career WAR.

 

Other than that, they are the same, I guess.

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I know everyone on this site hates Gibson, is ready to be done with him, etc. But I will say, he’s got an ERA+ of 100, and is posting his career best walk and strikeout rates. He’s started every game, and isn’t an ace, but he is a very serviceable. He’s not at the top of his game right now, but he’s average, and he’s had stretches where he has been well above that.

 

I think that the animosity towards him is overwrought and undeserved. And the incessant “nibble” comments kind of drive me nuts. When pitchers get ahead with two strikes, they try to get the hitters out with pitches out of the zone. That’s what pitchers do. If he were to throw more two-strike pitches down the middle, people would complain about giving players good stuff to hit with two strikes.

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I know everyone on this site hates Gibson, is ready to be done with him, etc. But I will say, he’s got an ERA+ of 100, and is posting his career best walk and strikeout rates. He’s started every game, and isn’t an ace, but he is a very serviceable. He’s not at the top of his game right now, but he’s average, and he’s had stretches where he has been well above that.

I think that the animosity towards him is overwrought and undeserved. And the incessant “nibble” comments kind of drive me nuts. When pitchers get ahead with two strikes, they try to get the hitters out with pitches out of the zone. That’s what pitchers do. If he were to throw more two-strike pitches down the middle, people would complain about giving players good stuff to hit with two strikes.

I agree with the statement above and would say that Gibson doesn't have the kind of raw stuff to attack with fastballs or try to bend a breaking ball over the plate. He needs hitters to chase and if they don't, a lot of pitches are just out of the strike zone. When he has excellent command, he can be very good, without his best command, he can be pretty good, but far from dominant. 

 

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