Wetmore: 5 thoughts on all the hits, a takeout slide and Gibson's day
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MINNEAPOLIS - Miguel Cabrera sat out Sunday's game between the Twins and Tigers with a sore right ankle. Even without one of the best hitters in baseball, the Tigers offense rolled to an easy victory. The Tigers beat the Twins, 13-4.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Sunday's game.
As always, feel free to ask questions or make observations in the comments. If you have a unique baseball observation during a game, feel free to share it with me on Twitter (@DerekWetmore).
1. Kyle Gibson was hit with a come-backer off the bat of Torii Hunter in the first inning. Gibson knocked it down with his body, located the ball on the ground just under him, and threw to first to retire Hunter and complete a 1-2-3 inning.
Gibson said it got him in the left hamstring and it bruised. He stayed in the game.
2. Eduardo Escobar got banged up on a takeout slide by Torii Hunter in the third inning. Victor Martinez batted with one out and runners on first and third. Gibson got a ground ball to Dozier that may have ended the inning if the Twins could have turned the double play. Unfortunately for the Twins, Dozier's backhanded throw was low to Escobar at the bag, and as the shortstop tried to clear out of the way, Hunter's slide took him out at the legs.
Escobar was five or six feet clear of second base, but Hunter slid in fully outstretched, essentially parallel to the imaginary line connecting second base and third base. That's an aggressive slide but it's within the rules because Hunter could reach out and touch the bag with his extended hand.
3. Later, Gibson drilled Hunter with a fastball, but I doubt it was intentional. Gibson already had put Hunter in an 0-2 hole when he hit the Tigers right fielder with a 91 mph two-seamer.
"No, not intentional at all," Gibson said after the game. "Yeah, it was a hard slide into Escobar there to second base, but 0-2 is not a count -- with a guy on first base -- to take care of anything like that. Really just trying to go in and kind of just how the fastball was all day, it just got away from me a little bit."
3b. Gibson may not have had his best control, as exhibited by the fifth inning. After he hit Hunter to put runners on first and second with no outs, he gave up a single and a walk. Then he got two outs and walked another batter and Ron Gardenhire had seen enough. Gibson stood behind the mound and smacked the dirt with his open hand in apparent frustration as Gardenhire walked up the steps to make a move to the bullpen.
Gibson had five swings and misses through the first four innings (19 batters). Then he had seven swings and misses through the first two outs in the fifth inning (seven batters). But he struggled to convert those whiffs into outs.
4. The Twins allowed 60 hits to the Tigers in the four-game series, the most since the team moved to Minnesota in 1961. The 60 hits for Detroit are the most since a series in 1956.
For Minnesota, the 57 hits is the third-highest total in Twins history. The Twins offense also put 42 runs on the board.
5. Yohan Pino's year likely is finished after an MRI revealed a minor sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. Assistant GM Rob Antony said the injury is nothing too serious, although it's cause for concern anytime a UCL is involved.
If the Twins sign Pino this offseason, he'll be a candidate for the 2015 rotation. It would be a surprise if he makes the starting rotation out of spring training, but he could provide depth.
For more on the injury and Pino's season, here's the story from Sunday.