Kyle Gibson must have been foolin’ on April 1 as he has now allowed six runs total this year in four starts and five of those runs came in the first inning of the season.
After Gibson exited in the shortest Opening Day start (1⁄3 IP) by any pitcher in my lifetime, he has allowed just one run in three starts spanning 21 innings. Incredibly, after starting the season with a laughable 135.00 ERA, before April has even reached its 20th day, Gibson is sporting an ERA of 2.53.
After a 2020 where Gibson didn’t quite live up to expectations in a rotation that initially featured Lance Lynn, Corey Kluber, and Mike Minor, he has claimed the role of staff leader and is now beginning to display that same kind of magic that Lynn and Minor enjoyed on what is becoming Jon Daniels’ signature three-year contract for undervalued free agent pitchers.
Unfortunately for Gibson, Orioles starter John Means was just as good today as he kept the Rangers off the board over his seven innings of three-hit ball. Means struck out nine Rangers and walked two but Texas really didn’t muster many rallies against the O’s top starter as they waited until the tenth inning to score the winning run because MLB allows a free base runner in scoring position now.
It’s basically a crime that Kyle Gibson wasn’t a winner today but, at the very least, the Rangers were able to avoid the sweep.
Player of the Game: Gibson went eight scoreless innings on four hits, zero walks, and six strikeouts today. Gibson accomplished his sterling effort on 97 pitches. He was by far the best player wearing powder blue today.
Up Next: The Rangers will head out to Anaheim for their first matchup against an AL West rival on Monday night. In the opener, RHP Kohei Arihara will make the start for Texas opposite RHP Dylan Bundy for the Angels. First pitch from the Big A is scheduled for 8:38 pm CT.