It wasn't too long ago that Kyle Gibson was one of the worst starting pitchers in the MLB.
But over his last eight starts, the right-hander has been a completely different pitcher; the one the Twins organization hoped the former first-round pick would be.
Since July 22, Gibson is 6-2 with an ERA of 3.19 in 48 innings pitched. He has allowed 3 runs or less in each of those starts.
Why has he been better?
Through the first three months of the season opponents were teeing off on Gibson, hitting .316 against him.
But over his last eight starts, that number's down to .276 because he's throwing more strikes.
Because he's throwing more strikes, Gibson is striking out more batters, while limiting free passes.
- Strikeout-to-walk ratio in first 17 starts: 3.7%
- Strikeout-to-walk ratio over last eight starts: 13.5%
Another big reason for his improvement is that he's keeping the ball in the park.
- Home runs allowed in first 17 starts: 16
- Home runs allowed over his last eight starts: 3
Can he keep it going?
You may have forgotten, but the last time the Twins were in the playoff hunt in 2015 Gibson anchored the rotation.
As long as he keeps limiting home runs and walks, he should be able to keep this up.
If the Twins want to stay in the Wild Card race, they'll need Gibson to be the pitcher he's been recently – not the one they got earlier in the year.