BALTIMORE — A day after pitching six no-hit innings as a starting pitcher, Kyle Gibson worked in relief on Sunday. Just not on the mound.
When the local chaplain who administers Sunday chapel services at Camden Yards was delayed this morning, Gibson agreed to step in and conduct Easter services for Twins and Orioles players.
Meanwhile, there was some discussion about how deep into a game a pitcher should be allowed to go in pursuit of a no-hitter. Gibson was removed after throwing 102 pitches over six innings, so there was no chance he could complete the feat. And he had no complaints about it.
“I knew my pitch count was high, so the only thing that is really going to come out of that is, maybe I’m going to throw seven no-hit innings instead of six,” Gibson reasoned. “You’d be taking the chance of going out there and being fatigued and hurting yourself.”
Twins manager Paul Molitor said he doesn’t have any particular policy in place, but “I would err on the side of [protecting] the pitcher rather than the possible no-hitter on his resume. … You could extend a guy probably up to 120 pitches or so.”
Well, that’s the theory, anyway, though in Molitor’s tenure as Twins manager, no pitcher has ever thrown 120 in a game. Only Ervin Santana and Gibson have even reached 115. “There’s a handful of guys around the league that could go further than that,” Molitor said, “but I don’t know there’s a lot you would give the opportunity to.”
Jake Odorizzi agrees that 120 is a reasonable limit, but if a no-hitter was close, he’d want the opportunity to finish one. “A no-hitter is kind of a special case,” he said. “If you finish the eighth inning with under 120 pitches, you should go back out there.”
It would be a nice problem to have, he agreed. Maybe Jose Berrios will present him with that choice today, as the 24-year-old righthander makes his 2018 debut. He’ll be pitching to Mitch Garver, who gets his first start of the season as well.
Here are the lineups for the final game of the season-opening series: