Three leftovers from a rough week in Toronto for the Twins:
— Kyle Gibson watched Wednesday’s loss to Toronto, and knew what he had to do: Move the Blue Jays hitters back, keep them from getting comfortable, keep them from extending their arms. Then he went out on Thursday and … didn’t.
“I didn’t establish an inside fastball at all. That’s something I wanted to do and needed to do,” Gibson said, sounding a little incredulous at himself. “You have to do it against those guys. You can’t put yourself in situations where you have to throw pitches out over the plate, that’s where you get in trouble.”
It got him into plenty of trouble, right from the first inning, when Edwin Encarnacion launched an RBI double to left. Two innings later, Encarnacion added a two-run homer, and Gibson said the common thread was not making him uncomfortable at the plate.
“If I could go back, [I would] establish that inside fastball and speed their bats up,” he said. “I can’t let them see the ball deep, because when they do that, they’re really good.”
— Torii Hunter now has exactly 100 career at-bats against Mark Buehrle, so he knows just how masterful the veteran left-hander can be. “You get into a count where you know he has to throw a fastball, and sure enough, it’s a changeup,” Hunter said. “He knows how to trick hitters, and he always has.”
Hunter is now 24-for-100 against Buehrle, with six doubles, a triple and three home runs. He’s also struck out 17 times and, remarkably, has never drawn a walk.
“He’s just a crafty veteran who knows how to pitch,” Hunter said. “He’s like a Jamie Moyer, but maybe throws a little harder.
— Now that they’re a .500 team, now that they’re twice as far away from first place as last, can the Twins turn this around? “Oh, yeah, we can definitely get our swag back. We’ve just got to go and brush it off,” Hunter said. “We’ve just got to believe in ourselves.”