I love Twitter sometimes. It provides a vehicle those raw, unfiltered emotions of a disgruntled fan to be shared on social media. And that was the case on Sunday as Twins manager Paul Molitor removed righthander Kyle Gibson from the game in the sixth inning then had his move blown to bits by Edwin Encarnacion, who hit a three-run homer on the first pitch from Ryan Pressly.

I disagree with the notion that Gibson should have stayed in the game.

Gibson looked strong early, putting his fastball where he wanted then mixing in breaking pitches as he went. He retired the first 12 Indians batters he faced, striking out five. 

The run ended with a 1-2 changeup to Encarnacion that was socked into the seats in left. Cleveland's first hit of the afternoon made it a 3-1 game.

Sometime during Gibson's sixth-inning encounter with Cleveland's Francisco Lindor, the game changed on him.

The All-Star shortstop pushed Gibson to his limits with 12-pitch at bat, during which Lindor fouled off seven pitches. Pitch No. 12 was a ball, earning Lindor a walk. Gibson was at a critical point of the game - the point where he starts to wear down. Pitching coach Garvin Alston, paid him a visit before he got Michael Brantley to ground out for the second out.

"That's what he said, just trying to give me a little break," Gibson said. "Unfortunately that puts Molitor in a situation where he has to take me out.

Molitor then replaced Gibson with Ryan Pressly. Gibson, for the season, has averaged 17 outs a game. The Twins have tried to let him pitch beyond the sixth inning a few times without much success. Molitor had that in mind when he removed Gibson from the game.

"You never want to be taken out in the middle of an inning," Gibson said. "Moliie has great instincts, and he makes a lot of good decisions."

Ryan Pressly entered, walked Ramirez, then gave up the home run to Encarnacion. 

"Yeah, it didn’t work out," Molitor said. "I’m just kind of watching it unfolds. He hadn’t given up a lot of hits or a lot of runs. A lot of pitches over the last couple of innings. I was just trying to get one out there. I felt good about the 7 th-8 th-9 th innings, of how we were going to navigate through that. But we got a walk and a homer. It changed fast.

"I know he wanted to face Ramirez. It’s easy to look back and say we should have given him a shot. But, the last couple of innings and the way they had gone, he was economical early and then it started catching up to him late so I went with the fresh arm."

Nice play by Wilson

Yan Gomes led off the seventh with a double. Greg Allen came to the plate and attempted to bunt him over to third. The ball landed on the chalk in front of home plate. Twins catcher Bobby Wilson pounced on the ball so quickly that he and Allen bumped slightly as Allen ran to first.

Gomez froze off second base. Wilson picked up the ball and paused slightly.

"It was a weird play, with that ball just dying there," Wilson said. "I think I might have beaten him out of the box there. You know he's bunting and you know you are going to have to get to the ball to make a play. Just tried to make an aggressive play with it."

Wilson threw to second in time to nab Gomes.

"That's a pretty big play," Molitor said. "They execute the bunt there, it changes that inning dramatically. He threw it on the money too."

Molitor said it was a savvy play by an alert veteran.

"I try to say every day what an opportunity this is for all of us," said Wilson, who played in 324 major league games before signing with the Twins as a minor league free agent during the offseason. "try to take advantage of every day. There was an opportunity to make something happen to help the ballclub.  And it worked out."

Ehire on the bases

I was in Anaheim when Ehire Adrianza failed to score from first on Robbie Grossman's double on May 13. That's when he didn't pick up Grossman's ball right away, stopped before he reached second and ended up being thrown out by a hair. There was another Ehire moment on Sunday.

He was on first base - as a pinch runner for Grossman - when Ryan LaMarre followed with a double just inside the left field line. Third base coach Gene Glynn waved Adrianza home. But Cleveland's relay was perfect, and Adrianza was thrown out easily.

But Adrianza slowed down as he approached third base, then stumbled as he rounded the bag. Is he safe if he has a smooth trip there?

"We'll never know," Molitor said. "You get the wave, then you stumble. I'm going to look at it, but I would think one of his options was that he lost his chance there and you try to recover and get back to third. I'm not sure how or why he stumbled."

My take: I would have left Grossman in. According to STACAST's sprint speed data, Grossman is the third fastest player on the Twins, covering 27.8 feet per second. Adrianza is eighth, at 26.8.

Run Robbie, run.


Older Post

Twins, Gibson seek series win against Cleveland

Newer Post

Will the Twins get creative with their top pick in tonight's draft?