La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Gibson, first-inning runs, Fien on fire

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 29, 2013 - 8:18 PM

 

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 6-2 win over Kansas City

1. GIBSON SOLID, NOT SPECTACULAR: Kansas City hit a few balls really hard that were run down by Twins fielders. And there were a couple plays (tough ones, I'll admit) I thought Pedro Florimon could have made. Overall, Gibson had a pretty good debut. He's definitely not a thrower. He wasn't predictable and really pounded Royals hitters inside. They kept swinging and fouling off pitches, so Gibson kept throwing them. ```I've been doing that a lot in Triple-A. Everyone told me to stay with your game plan and pitch the way you pitch. Joe and I had a pretty good plan to go in on most those guys and some of the lefties we worked away later. But I think going in early on them definitely opened up the fifth and sixth inning.’’ He did shake off Mauer a couple times, but said Mauer called a great game. A good first outing. Now, on to the Yankees.

2. EARLY RUN SUPPORT: The Twins' five-run first inning made it easier for Gibson to settle in. Boy, Wade Davis was terrible. He threw 69 pitches and recorded just three outs. According baseball-reference.com, that is the most ever. The Twins gladly accepted Wade's gifts and got off to a fast start. The Twins have now scored 44 first-inning runs, their second-most productive inning. ``Big help,'' Gibson said. ``Can't say enough about my teammates out there and getting a big lead early. It took a lot of pressure off. I was able to make pitches a little less fine-ness to them, you can say. The two runs I gave up...the five-run lead allowed those to not be as big.''

3. FIEN STEPS UP: The Twins' momentum was stopped by lefthander Will Smith, who replaced Davis. The Royals then loaded the bases in the eighth. Casey Fien replaced Brian Duensing with no outs and a runner on first base. Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas singled to load the bases. The tying run was up. Fien found whatever he was missing and stuck out Lorenzo Cain and Miguel Tejada to end the inning. Fans rose to their feet before Fien struck out Tejada, and Fien stormed off the mound, pumping his fists and yelling as the crowd roared. ``When I got back to going with my cutter, it was easy pickings,'' Fien said. ``I was fortunate to get a couple first-pitch strike and I had them on defense. There's no better feeling than getting a strikeout with the whole crowd on their feet.''

BONUS THOUGHT: Gardy gave out two game balls. One with the Kyle Gibson, of course. One was given in mockery to Brian Duensing, who fell behind Eric Hosmer 3-2 in the eighth then threw the next pitch over his head. Hosmer ducked, then went to first. ``You couldn't beat that one,'' Gardy said.

Final(10)2345678910RHE
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Minnesota «0110010115112
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Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland - LP: K. Crockett 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 5
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 5
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 3
Texas - WP: L. Bonilla 12 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 3
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: O. Despaigne 5
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
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New England
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Miami
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Carolina
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NY Jets
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Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
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(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
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Louisiana 9:30 PM
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(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
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Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
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(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
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NC State
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(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 5
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
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Winnipeg
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