Kyle Gibson hasn’t been the Orioles’ top pitcher this season. But he is their leader in one important statistic: innings pitched.
In a season when four Orioles starters have exceeded their career highs in innings pitched — with a month plus the playoffs still to go — Gibson’s ability to eat innings has been extremely valuable. It’s not quite to the same level as Jordan Lyles, who spent 2022 with Baltimore and has made a name for himself for being an innings eater yet losing pitcher. But Gibson’s durability to make every start has only helped their other, more valuable pitchers.
He’s produced mixed results. On Aug. 24, he gave the Orioles eight innings and gave up just three runs. Six days later, Gibson muddled through 4 1/3, giving up four runs in the second and three in the third in the Orioles’ 10-5 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday.
No matter his results, though, Gibson is always ready to take the ball on his next turn. He was their Opening Day starter, but come the playoffs may not be a factor at all. Kyle Bradish has emerged as the team’s top starter, with Grayson Rodriguez and Dean Kremer falling into place behind him. Depending on how long the series goes, Gibson may not be needed at all. In 2022, when he was on the Phillies team that lost to the Astros in the World Series, Gibson pitched only 2 1/3 postseason innings after making 31 starts in the regular season.
He’s played the same role in Baltimore. He’s thrown a quality start in 14 of his 28 tries. In the other 14, he has an 8.41 ERA.
“I’m just going to sit down and try to take a look at it, see if there’s something that stands out,” Gibson said. “It’s been different outings. ... Maybe just a little bit of predictability, maybe just a little bit of looking too much into one side of the plate. Whatever it is, I’ll dig in and see what it looks like. I’ve been in this spot before, just need to keep grinding and keep looking for ways to get better.”
But, regardless of the result, he hasn’t needed extra time off between outings. Thus, the Orioles have been able to stay on their six-man rotation, the pitchers getting a crucial extra day off. That will only benefit Bradish, Rodriguez and Kremer as they barrel through their first playoff season.
On Wednesday, Gibson smoked through the first inning but started running into trouble in the second. He gave up three home runs between the second and third but still managed to make it into the fifth. Austin Voth replaced him, giving up three runs in 1 2/3.
“Just a lot of inconsistencies. I just didn’t feel as good as I did warming up,” Gibson said. “The first inning didn’t carry over. Just the month of August has been really inconsistent, not limiting damage.”
Anthony Santander stayed hot for the Orioles, hitting his 26th home run. He also had and RBI double in the first.