Welcome to the frustrating tease that is Kyle Gibson. One game he throws a complete game 1-0 gem. The next game, he follows it up by giving up eight runs (seven earned) in four innings, including four walks, five hits, and the eighth grand slam Rangers pitching has gifted this year.
That, in a nutshell, is Kyle Gibson. It’s who he is and has always been. It’s what the Rangers bought three years of. There is no fixing him. There is no solving his mechanics. There is no figuring it out.
In seven years with the Twins, he won 67 games and lost 68. Every time he took a step forward, he took a step backward. His ERA in that time was .496. That’s four ticks under bad.
He is a textbook example of stuck in a rut. Here are his decisions, in order, year by year. You will notice a trend.
2013: W, L, L, W, L, L.
2014: W, W, W, L, L, L, W, L, L, W, W, L, W, L, W, L, W, W, L, W.
2015: L, W, L, W, W, L, W, L, L, L, L, W, W, W, W, L, L, W, L, W, L.
2016: L, L, L, L, L, W, W, L, W, W, L, W, L, L, W, L, L.
2017: L, L, L, L, W, W, W, W, L, L, W, L, L, W, L, L, W, W.
2018: W, L, L, L, L, W, L, L, W, W, L, W, L, L, W, W, L, L, L, L, W, W, W.
2019: W, W, L, W, W, L, W, W, L, W, L, W, W, W, W, L, L, W, W, L.
2020: L, L, W, L, L, L, W, L.
He can’t ever seem to get anything going. His career is a constant ping ponging between getting a win and getting a loss, winning a few, losing a few.
Every time Kyle Gibson tries to turn the corner, he runs into a brick wall, and there’s another corner waiting for him.
So, after his shutout on Wednesday, all fans heard was how Gibson had figured it out. He’d made adjustments. There was a new Kyle Gibson. That lasted—as his career trajectory would have told anybody who wasn’t in Rangers P.R. or in the front office or in the dugout—all of one inning.
The talking heads on television gushed about the new Kyle Gibson. Then the old Kyle Gibson showed up.
Right on cue.
Jordan Lyles (1-5, 7.07) vs. Caleb Smith (0-0, 4.50)