Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson takes the mound for the Twins tonight against the Angels and has a chance to make history. With just two scoreless innings, Gibson will have the longest scoreless streak by a Twins pitcher since Francisco Liriano in 2010.
Gibson has pitched 22 consecutive innings without giving up a run. Liriano pitched 23 scoreless innings in 2010. Former Twins pitcher Johan Santana owns the record for longest scoreless innings streak by a Twins starter with 33 scoreless innings. Former Twins reliever J.C. Romero owns the record for any Twins pitcher with 36 scoreless innings.
CBS Sports' Al Melchior said Gibson has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last 30 days at getting hitters to chase pitches outside of the strike zone. He has done this at a rate similar to pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka, Zack Greinke, Chris Sale and fellow Twin Phil Hughes.
Gibson has also walked fewer batters in recent starts, as Melchior points out. In his last 45 innings, Gibson has walked just seven batters. He has a 6-5 record with a 3.25 ERA in 14 starts and just a 1.09 ERA in his last five starts.
The scoreless streak began during the sixth inning of his start against the Brewers on June 2. Gibson then went on to throw three straight starts of seven shutout innings, including his last start against Boston where he struck out a career-high eight batters.
Gibson told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com after his last start in Boston that he is just executing pitches.
"I'm not doing anything different," he said. "I'm definitely looking at scouting reports and who I'm facing. But it comes down to executing no matter who is out there."
Manager Ron Gardenhire said after Gibson's last start that he has been performing well because he has pounded the strike zone and has kept hitters off balance.
Gibson will face a Los Angels lineup tonight that includes Mike Trout, who is in the top 10 in the American League in batting average, home runs and RBIs.