Friday night, I attended Kyle Gibson's debut in Rochester.
Gibson went 5.2 innings, throwing 88 pitches and giving up 5 hits, while striking out 1 and walking 2. He topped out at 92 MPH. He gave up 1 run on a cheap double that third baseman D'Angelo Jiminez either missed or actually had hit off of him and 2 sacrifice flies. He seemed to have problems throwing strikes, but from where I was sitting, it looked like he was being squeezed on low pitches. Just 50 of the 88 pitches were strikes. Gibson was pretty impressive. There weren't many balls hit hard off of him. His 8 ground outs to 7 fly outs were below his ground ball averages at the lower levels, but not getting strike calls on lower zone pitches could have allowed the hitters to layoff balls they'd hit into the ground.
The 6'6" 210 lb Gibson looked imposing on the mound but also looked a little skinny out there. I wonder if adding a little weight over time might make him more durable. It was great seeing him pitch for the first time. He had a little issue with the strike zone, but nothing that happened in his first AAA appearance would lead me to believe that he isn't a number 1 pitching prospect.
This was also my first time attending a game in Rochester. I have seen the Red Wings many times in Syracuse, but it was nice to finally catch a game at Frontier Field.
Look at that form! Well at least I got 2. It was kind of neat getting announced on the field, even if it was only before 7000 people. Because I had to be ready for the event, I had really good seats for an inning, which was a good spot to watch Gibson pitch and get pictures.
|Good dugout view.|
The game was tight until the Red Wings blew it open in the 7th. Matt Macri hit a 3 run home run off the left field foul pole. We were walking the stadium to get a look at it and were 10 feet from the pole at the time, so that was pretty cool. The Wings won 5-1. Anthony Slama pitched 2 scoreless innings for the win and Alex Burnett pitched 1.1 scoreless to collect the save.
It was a great night for a baseball game. My step-son got 8 autographs, including Trevor Plouffe, Anthony Slama and Rob Delaney.
|Trevor Plouffe signing|
Before the game, I spent some time talking to Cory Hepola. The Perham, Minnesota native works as anchor and reporter for CBS affiliate in Rochester. It was enjoyable to meet someone from Minnesota out in New York and a die-hard Twins fan to boot. If you are on twitter and are not following him, he can be found at @coryhepola. He is a good source for Red Wings information. If you are a Minnesota Twins fan and have not been to Frontier Field, make the trip. It is always great to see their future Twins stars and its a very nice venue to watch a baseball game.
For more stories on Twins minor leaguers and minor leaguers in general, check out Top Prospect Alert. There is such an amazing amount of minor league content, it will keep you reading all day. Check it out!