Streaky Gibson wants to be consistent pitcher

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 4, 2014 - 11:16 PM
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Kyle Gibson, wearing the Twins’ version of the All-Star caps worn around the major leagues Friday, gave up six runs and six hits — five for extra bases — in two innings against the Yankees.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

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It’s terrific to be unhittable during hot streaks, like his 22-inning scoreless stretch last month, Kyle Gibson says, but there’s something even better: Not having streaks, hot or cold, at all.

“The scoreless streak’s great, but there’s times where you’d rather have 15 or 16 outings in a row of two runs or less,” Gibson said. “Then you’re consistently giving your team a chance to win, and you’re not getting too high or too low.”

Highs and lows define Gibson’s first full big-league season, though. He’s had six starts this season in which he’s lasted seven or eight innings and not allowed a run. He’s also had four starts in which he’s been blasted, giving up six or seven runs and getting pulled after just two or three innings.

He’s 7-7 now, and his ERA in his seven victories is 0.93, with batters hitting .197. But in the seven losses, they tee off at a .376 rate and his ERA is 13.74.

“Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of those starts. They’ve either been good or bad — there’s no in the middle,” Gibson said. “I’m trying to get more consistent. One thing I wanted to focus on was damage control, not giving up the crooked numbers.”

Colabello matches pal

One day after his minor league friend Zelous Wheeler announced his arrival in the majors with a home run, Chris Colabello did the same, smashing a 1-0 pitch into the flower beds atop the right-field wall.

“It’s funny. [Wheeler] made eye contact with me after I hit it,” as if to acknowledge their underdog status, Colabello said. “That wall’s been an issue for me a few times this year, [so] it was nice to get one over finally.”

Even better: It broke an 0-for-23 skid that Colabello took with him to Class AAA Rochester when he was sent down May 25. Colabello found his swing again with more consistent playing time, and contributed his fifth home run of the season, and 31st RBI, on his first at-bat back with the Twins.

Colabello said he sent Wheeler, a former Mexican League teammate and fellow longtime minor leaguer, a text message after Wheeler homered on Thursday. “It said, ‘Obviously, I wasn’t happy you beat us, but congrats, bro. The first of many,’ ” Colabello said. “ ‘I’m glad I got to see it live instead of watching it on mlb.com. … But don’t do it to us again.’ ”

Etc.

• Yankees manager Joe Girardi said lefthander CC Sabathia is unlikely to pitch again this season because of his injured right knee.

• Mike Pelfrey is no longer experiencing numbness in his pitching hand, but “I’m not real sure that he’s going to pitch again this year,” General Manager Terry Ryan said. The veteran righthander, who had surgery June 10 to remove scar tissue that was putting pressure on his ulnar nerve, is on the 60-day disabled list.

• The Twins won a replay challenge Friday when Wheeler, a third baseman, caught Sam Fuld’s ninth-inning pop-up in the Yankees dugout. Fuld was called out, but Gardenhire argued that Wheeler was technically no longer on the playing field but inside the dugout, since he had stepped on the top step before catching the ball. After a review, the play was ruled a foul ball.

• Former Twins infielder Jamey Carroll, now retired from baseball, visited with his ex-teammates before the game.

• Derek Jeter sat out Friday’s game, a day game after a night game, for the Yankees, and Josh Willingham did the same for the Twins. Willingham, after going 11-for-32 in his first 10 games back from a wrist injury, has batted .184 since June 4.

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