It would appear that Kyle Gibson was not very happy with how things went on Opening Day in Kansas City as the Rangers’ de facto ace bounced back from collecting all of one out in his 2021 debut to tossing six scoreless innings in the rubber match finale against Toronto this afternoon.
The Rangers’ veteran pitching staff leader struck out an impressive eight Jays hitters in his six innings while walking only one and allowing six hits on just 82 pitches. He also had pretty nice stuff today:
Kyle Gibson, Filthy 81mph Breaking Ball...and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/if27BpwQgp— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 7, 2021
The bullpen also did its job for Texas, which is always a shaky proposition. Nevertheless, a trio of Josh Sborz, Matt Bush, and Ian Kennedy preserved Gibson’s meager lead by getting the game’s final nine outs for the Rangers. Only a Marcus Semien solo home run off of Matt Bush to lead off the eighth pockmarked the scoreboard for the Rangers.
As for the bats, they weren’t as prolific as they had been of late but that was to be expected with lefty Hyun Jin Ryu on the mound for Toronto. Ryu finished third in the AL Cy Young voting last season and was coming off a stellar game against the New York Yankees on Opening Day in a no-decision that the Jays won.
Still, Texas was able to do just a little bit more at the plate than Toronto. Nick Solak took Ryu deep in the bottom of the second to give the Rangers a lead and Leody Taveras provided the other run with a broken bat RBI single in the same frame.
That was enough and, with the win, the Rangers are a .500 team at 3-3 and have taken their first series of the season.
Player of the Game:
So with Kyle Gibson touching 96 today, a fun fact. Per Baseball Savant, coming into today Kyle Gibson had thrown 19,191 four seam fastballs.— Sam Hale (@thesamuelhale) April 7, 2021
Only 8 were at or above 96. #Rangers
Someone named Kyle Gibson was perhaps a little amped up today.
Up Next: The Rangers have tomorrow off before welcoming the San Diego Padres to Arlington for a series against old friends Yu Darvish, Jurickson Profar,
Mitch Moreland, and A.J. Preller. RHP Kohei Arihara will face off against RHP Joe Musgrove with Friday’s first pitch from The Shed scheduled for 7:05 pm CT.