“Breaking News: Kyle Gibson Returns to baltimore orioles!

SAN DIEGO – As a younger pitcher, one still looking for that steady pulse to go with steadier results, Kyle Gibson listened to a chaplain discuss how anxiety and thankfulness are conflicting emotions. It’s not reasonable, the explanation went, to be worried about what’s to come and thankful for what’s happened, just as it’s not productive to worry about what happened and also be thankful for the opportunity ahead.

Gibson took that thought to heart.

Then he took it to the mound.

“I’m just not going to give one inning away,” the Cardinals’ veteran right-hander said. “Worry is something in my mind that is similar to fear. You can’t go out there pitching worried about this, pitching fearful about that. There’s enough going on already. It’s literally not worth it.”

Unfazed by when he made his first start of the season and unbothered by what happened the four days before he got his turn, Gibson was unyielding with seven substantive innings for the Cardinals in a 6-2 victory against San Diego late Monday night. In his Cardinals debut, Gibson allowed two runs, both on solo homers, and left the bullpen only six outs to retrieve to finalize a win. The last of the Cardinals’ current five starters to pitch this season, Gibson was the first to provide a quality start – exactly as the Cardinals imagined when they signed him.

A day after a diluted bullpen lost a lead late at Dodger Stadium, Gibson provided what the Cardinals so rarely had in their mad scramble for innings and dependable starts a year ago.

They know that anxiety.

They are thankful for his calming presence.

“That was our hope in signing the guys that we did – they would do that,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “What Lance (Lynn) did in LA was tough. What (Gibson) just did here against a really good lineup that has put up some big runs – that’s tough. Yeah, we chose them for a reason and thankfully they wanted to pitch here. For this exact reason we saw. … This is a guy who has been around awhile, just is very comfortable in his own skin, and knows who he is. He knows what gives him success and when you hand him the baseball he’s going to go out and do his job. He’s as pro as they get.”

By the time Gibson finished his seven innings, he had faced 25 batters and collected 21 outs. The Cardinals had a reliever in the bullpen warming to complete the seventh inning if necessary, and that was when Gibson got a double play to end his evening.

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