Texas Rangers: Kyle Gibson Delivers Best Start in Win Over Astros
By Kenneth Nash
Kyle Gibson’s debut season for the Texas Rangers has been up and down but on Wednesday he delivered one of the best starts of his career.
The Texas Rangers may have shifted their 2020 focus to development for the future but that doesn’t mean they’ll turn down wins like they got over the Houston Astros on Wednesday. On the back of a stellar performance by Kyle Gibson, the Rangers picked up a 1-0 win moving them to 18-31 on the season.
Kyle Gibson Shines All Game
After signing a free agent deal in the offseason, Kyle Gibson’s career with the Texas Rangers had gotten off to a rocky start. Through nine starts, Gibson’s ERA sat at 6.14 and opponents were hitting .296 off of him. However, Gibson delivered the best start in a Rangers’ uniform and one of the best of his big league career going for a complete game, road shutout of the reigning AL West champs, the Houston Astros.
In the 1-0 win, Gibson allowed just four hits to Houston and struck out a season-high nine batters en route to his second win of the season. He threw 114 pitches total and despite much offensive support from his teammates, got a needed run in the top of the last frame to help seal the victory for the Texas Rangers.
Leody Taveras continues to impress and excite as the young center fielder delivered a 2-4 night and scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning. Taveras’ speed continues to make a difference and before scoring that all important run, Taveras was able to take second base on a fielder’s choice to first base that could’ve been an inning-ending double play opportunity.
Joey Gallo has struggled this season but perhaps delivering a game winning hit can be a catalyst for the slugger. Gallo picked up a ground rule double in the ninth inning that scored Taveras from second base. That ended up being the only RBI of the game for either side and was the difference maker in the contest.
Youth Continues to Prevail
The Texas Rangers continue to push the youth movement as they look for long-term development of their club. On Wednesday the Rangers put out a starting lineup that consisted almost entirely of players 26 years old or younger. The only exceptions were Jeff Mathis, 37, and Kyle Gibson, 32, who comprised the Texas battery on the night.
This is a theme that’s developed over the past couple of weeks and we’re likely to see more of it as the season wraps up. Of the group of young guns, only Rougned Odor is one who looks to be on his way out of a regular role with the club. Joey Gallo, Nick Solak and Isiah Kiner-Falefa are assured cornerstone pieces of the franchise moving forward while young players like Leody Taveras, Anderson Tejeda and Ronald Guzman will be fighting for roles of varying significance come next season.