HBPs come back to haunt Gibson, Rangers

August 26th, 2020

Rangers starter did something on Tuesday night that he had done just once in his previous 193 career starts: He hit two batters with pitches.

One of them, a sinker that hit Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman in the helmet, was particularly scary. That was the first of four hit-by-pitches overall in the game that saw the umpires issue a warning to both benches.

But Gibson was the one that paid the most, as his control issues ended up costing him in a 10-3 loss to the Athletics at Globe Life Field. Both hit-by-pitches were followed by a two-run home run, and the Rangers have now lost nine of their last 10.

“The long balls and extra bases killed us,” manager Chris Woodward said.

Gibson’s control issues started in the third when, with the Rangers holding a 1-0 lead, he walked Tony Kemp and Jonah Heim -- the bottom two hitters in the A’s lineup -- to start the inning. Gibson got Marcus Semien to ground into a double play, moving Kemp at third, who ended up scoring on a wild pitch.

“I don’t know when the last time I walked two guys on eight straight pitches,” Gibson said.

(Actually, it was nine pitches, but … )

The frightening hit-by-pitch came to start the fourth when Gibson was trying to get ahead of Chapman with a first-pitch sinker. Instead, the pitch sailed up and in, hitting Chapman in the helmet.

Chapman stayed in the game after being checked out by trainer Nick Paparesta and receiving an apology from Gibson. Olson provided payback with a two-out, two-run home run.

“I don’t know when the last time I hit somebody like that,” Gibson said. “I don’t know him, I’ve only heard good things about him. I just wanted to hang around home plate and let him know I wasn’t trying to do anything closely remote to that. Hopefully he is OK, because that was a scary moment.”

Gibson was asked if the hit-by-pitch rattled him, because that was the point where the game started getting away from the Rangers.

"I think because he was OK, I wasn't quite as rattled," Gibson said. "It definitely shakes you up a little bit whenever something happens like that that's close to being pretty severe. I think it might have a little bit more had he left the game and not seemed like he was doing OK. But I checked on him, he said he was doing good, and I hope that's the case."

Gibson’s second hit-by-pitch also came leading off an inning. Again it was Kemp, this time to start the fifth. Gibson was ahead 0-2 in the count when he plunked Kemp with a slider.

“The second-worst slider I threw tonight,” Gibson said.

The worst was a 2-2 slider he threw to Semien later in the inning. Semien hit that one over the left-field fence to give the Athletics a 5-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, A’s starter Sean Manaea hit Robinson Chirinos, prompting the four umpires to gather for their own conference. When they were done, both benches were given a warning.

“Yeah, I'm not sure if the umpires made something up right there,” Woodward said. “I don't know if Manaea threw at Robbie intentionally. I don't see why he would. I don't know if there's some bad blood there. I have no idea. Obviously, we're not trying to hit anybody in the head. Gibby, the ball just got away from him. Gibby’s nowhere near that guy that's gonna throw at somebody’s head.”

The Rangers scored two runs that inning, but their pitchers weren’t done with their command issues or hitting opposing batters. The Athletics broke it open with five runs in the seven -- and the first two scored when Ian Gibaut walked Robbie Grossman and hit Mark Canha with the bases loaded.