- Way to go, Kyle Gibson.
- When the Rangers signed Kyle Gibson this past offseason to a three year deal, the mind couldn’t help but drift to thoughts of Mike Minor and Lance Lynn, veterans signed for three year deals the previous two offseason, deals that were questioned by many, but which ended up being terrific deals. Expecting Gibson to provide the type of results Minor and Lynn have with the Rangers isn’t realistic, but even if one was just looking for him to be a LAIE, Gibson’s 2020 has not met expectations.
- Its worth noting, however, that Minor and Lynn looked like disappointments early on, as well. Tonight was Kyle Gibson’s 10th start for the Rangers. Mike Minor had a 5.63 ERA through ten starts for the Rangers in his first year here, and Lance Lynn had a 4.67 ERA through 10 starts (and a 5.75 ERA after seven starts).
- Whatever has been the source of Gibson’s troubles this year, it wasn’t an issue for him today. You wouldn’t have thought it based on his first inning of work — he gave up a single and a pair of walks in the first inning, and a George Springer caught stealing helped Gibson escape without any damage.
- After that, Gibson allowed just an infield single to Jose Altuve in the third, a Kyle Tucker single in the seventh (that ended up being erased on a caught stealing that Chris Woodward successfully challenged after Tucker was originally called safe), and a Martin Maldonado walk in the eighth.
- Texas had also been kept off the board through eight innings, though, and it seemed like Gibsons stellar night might go for naught until Leody Taveras led off the ninth with a hard hit ball that Yuri Gurriel couldn’t handle cleanly, then dropped when he was having to rush to try to flip the ball to first to beat Leody, who was flying down the line. Leody then went to second on a one out ground out, and after Joey Gallo got down 0-2, Gallo fouled off a pitch, then looped a ball down the line in right to bring home Leody and bring home the only run of the game.
- Rafael Montero started warming when the Rangers got a run home, and it seemed like Gibson, who was at 97 pitches through 8, would turn things over to Montero to get the final three outs. Chris Woodward sent Gibson out for the ninth, though, giving him the opportunity to finish it. Gibson got Altuve and then Michael Brantley to strike out for the first two outs of the ninth before Alex Bregman sent a softly hit ball into left field for a double.
- Chris Woodward came out to the mound, and the assumption by everyone, I think, was that with the tying run on second and the winning run at the plate, Montero would be coming into the game for the last out. Woodward talked briefly with Gibson and then returned to the dugout, however, letting Gibson go up against Kyle Tucker.
- Gibson fell behind Tucker 2-0, then delivered a change up down in the zone that Tucker smoked...right into the glove of Ronald Guzman at first base. And that was ballgame. Kyle Gibson had his first career complete game shutout, and the Rangers had a 1-0 win.
- Gibson’s final line was 9 IP, 4 hits, 3 walks, and 9 Ks, and his ERA is down to 5.18 on the season.
- The Rangers have had a lot of breaks go against them this year, but the last out of the game was on a ball that was 98.4 mph off the bat and had an expected batting average of .900, per Statcast. The Baseball Gods gave us one there.
- Gibson sat at around 92-93 mph with his fastball today, and topped out at 93.6. Only one Ranger had a ball off the bat with at least a 100 mph EV — Joey Gallo, on a fourth inning line out that was 109.8 mph.
- That was a good game. I enjoyed it.
Rangers 1, Astros 0