Twins Have Mashed Blue Jays Ace Kevin Gausman His Entire Career

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

We are a mere hours away from the latest chance for the Minnesota Twins to win their first playoff game since 2004 and their first playoff series since 2002. Their opening round Wildcard series vs the Toronto Blue Jays will start on Tuesday afternoon and their ace, Kevin Gausman will be on the mound.

Kevin Gausman ages like a fine wine

Gausman has been a really good pitcher for most of his 11 seasons in Major League Baseball. His career 3.84 ERA, multiple All-Star appearances and $90 million in earnings tells enough of a story. But the 32-year-old veteran has only gotten better with age, throwing all three of his best seasons after the age of 30.

That’s right, all three of his All-Star appearances and Cy Young candidacies have come in the past three seasons. But that doesn’t mean he’s been good against everybody, in that time. Gausman’s career vs the Minnesota Twins, for example, has left plenty to be desired.

Related: Royce Lewis Seems Pessimistic About His Availability for Wildcard Round

Minnesota Twins mash Kevin Gausman

Toronto’s ace has started 11 games in his career vs the Twins, that’s 5th most of any team he has faced in his career. He has a 6.35 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 56.2 innings pitched. The Twins knock Gausman out of the game early in the 5th inning, on average. That’s because they have a .816 OPS against him during his career.

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/2/2023.

What’s most interesting about Kevin Gausman’s numbers vs Minnesota, though. As mentioned earlier in this blog, Gausman’s best years of his career have been his last three. That includes 2023, where he placed 9th in Cy Young voting.

Yet, the Twins have gotten more successful against the former LSU stud, as he’s gotten better. That includes this season, when they faced him twice, posting a .290 batting average and .911 OPS. Gausman threw a total of 10 innings, surrendering 7 earned runs (6.20 ERA) and a 2.000 WHIP. He walked 9 Twins hitters and struck out just 12.

Clean slate when the playoffs start?

Of course, these numbers could wind up meaning nothing, on Tuesday. It’s the playoffs and slates are wiped clean in the postseason, right? Sure, that’s true to an extent. But anyone who has played sports knows that there are some teams you play better against and certain places you feel best playing at.

Related: How to watch Minnesota Twins Playoff Games in 2023

And knowing that to be true, I think it is safe to say, based on his career numbers, that the Minnesota Twins are not one of the MLB teams Gausman likes playing against and Target Field isn’t one of his favorite away stadiums.

Speaking of playoffs… Gausman hasn’t had a lot of success in that area, to this point, either. Kevin’s career playoff ERA is an unimpressive 4.57 ERA (21.2 IP). His only playoff starts have come in the past two seasons. He had a 6.00 ERA in 6 innings (1 start) for the Giants in 2021 and a 6.57 ERA in his only start (5.2 IP) last postseason for the Blue Jays.

Total4 Yr017221.2151118251.0626.20.43.310.4
1 ALWC00115.2540171.0597.90.01.611.1
1 ALDS00103.2310151.0917.40.02.512.3
2 NLDS01318.06615111.3756.81.15.612.4
1 ALCS00204.1100120.4622.
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/2/2023.

Of course, none of Gausman’s struggles in the playoffs or in the regular season vs the Minnesota Twins, hold a candle to the Twins’ 18-game losing streak or their 2-decade drought void of any playoff series wins.

We’ll find out whose past haunts more on Tuesday.

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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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