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Pitcher Preview: Kyle Gibson vs CC Sabathia

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Gibson stares down literally and metaphorically the biggest challenge of his career.

Jim McIsaac


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Kyle Gibson 1-2 3 3 0 0 0 0 17.1 23 14 14 0 5 10 7.27 1.62

Following a strong season debut and then an absolute implosion at the hand of these very same Yankees, Gibson's third start of the season was strong with the exception of one inning. Today Gibson has a chance at reprisal. The sinking fastball and the slider will need to be on the money today.

Last time, the geriatric (in terms of baseball age) clinic of Ichiro Suzuki, Travis Hafner, and Vernon Wells were his undoing. Maybe that's not surprising. Gibson is a good pitcher, but guys who have been around the block will have seen pretty much everything there is to see. When he faces the veterans today, a group which will include fellow geriatric Derek Jeter, it will be interesting to see how aggressive Gibson will be.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - CC Sabathia 9-7 19 19 2 0 0 0 133.0 131 62 59 20 28 112 3.99 1.20

Already in his fifth season with the Bombers, the single biggest difference in his performance is the dropping strikeout rate. For only the second time since 2005 he's retiring fewer than 21% of batters on strikes. He's maintaining some pinpoint control, however, so as much as I'd love to say he's having a terrible year it just isn't true. If there's one pitcher in all of baseball I'd love to beat it's Sabathia, but damnit he's still really good.

As a group, current Twins have hit just .204/.270/.293 against the Yankee ace. The only two players with significant playing time against him, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, both sport OPSs in the mid-.400s. Yep. Mid-.400 OPSs.

Maybe a guy like Trevor Plouffe or Oswaldo Arcia, guys who haven't seen much of Sabathia, can just stand in and let it rip. Maybe we just hope Sabathia has a really bad day. Maybe both? Let's go with that.