August 20, 2016

Twins’ Kyle Gibson wins, beats Atlanta Braves — so what?

Starter Kyle Gibson beat the Atlanta Braves the other night, making it two wins over the Braves to even the season series with the club. Gibson also threw his first career 9-inning complete game to win 10-3. That’s great, Kyle. Good job. Nice work. Atta boy. Way to go. Now, can you go out and win your next start? And the one after that, and the next one, and the one that follows that and so on and so forth. Because if you can never be a consistent winner, then I remain unmoved by your complete game.

To be fair, Gibson has pitched for the team during a pretty lousy stretch of baseball, but he also hasn’t shown that he can be much better than a .500 pitcher. He’s 31-34 in his career, all of it spent with the Twins, with an ERA of 4.52. He was 13-12 in 2014, 11-11 in 2015 and he’s 5-7 this season and likely will remain around the .500 mark the rest of the way.

Gibson reminds me of former Twin Mike Smithson: tall, lanky and a pitcher who was never much better than .500. He also had a tendency to serve up the long ball like Gibson does, but Smithson also could pitch deeper into games and give the Twins more innings. In two of his four seasons with the Twins, Smithson pitched more than 250 innings. Gibson has yet to hit the 200-inning mark.

Extra innings…

-Brian Dozier hit his 28th home run Friday night to tie a career high. How hot is this guy?

-After Gibson’s complete game, Twins pitching returned to its norm of not being very good. Tyler Duffey lasted three-plus innings and surrendered a grand slam to the Kansas City Royals, while Jose Berrios, who didn’t figure in Friday’s decision because the game went 11 innings, gave them four innings, giving up five hits and four runs, all earned. He also walked four and struck out two. Nope, that’s not going to get it done, Jose.

-Remember when the Twins used to regularly beat up on the Royals? As a franchise, the Twins have a winning percentage of .514 versus the Royals. That is not the case recently, however. Since 2013, the Twins are 21-47 against the Royals.

-Friday’s game was delayed by rain for three hours.

Hector Santiago, still looking for his first win as a Twin, gets the ball on Saturday.

 

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.