Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Shot For Liriano?

La Velle E. Neal III suggested on his blog yesterday that Francisco Liriano might get the starting nod on Sunday in the Twins' series finale at Kaufmann Stadium. Liriano's addition to the rotation would bump Jeff Manship, who has failed to last even five innings in any of his past three starts, and whose 6.35 ERA and 1.72 WHIP have proven that he can't be trusted to make key starts during a pennant race.

According to Ron Gardenhire, Joe Mauer said after Liriano's relief outing on Tuesday night that "it was the best the ball has come out of his hand in a long time." That's great, but how many times this season have we heard quotes similar to this regarding Liriano? It seems like there were countless occasions on which Rick Anderson would marvel about how great Liriano's bullpen session between starts was only to have the left-hander hit the mound with a dud outing in his next turn. There's little doubt that Liriano still has the stuff to succeed as a starting pitcher in this league -- he's averaging over 91 mph on his fastball and his slider has been devastating -- but mentally he just hasn't been able to pull it together for any length of time.

Nevertheless, I remain bullish on Liriano and I'd love to see him get the start on Sunday. I wrote back in early August that the Twins would need an effective Liriano in order to reach the playoffs and especially to succeed there. They've managed to close the gap on Detroit since that time without meaningful contributions from Liriano, but I really think getting a couple strong starts from the southpaw here in the waning days of the season could make the difference. If Liriano were to pitch well enough in a couple starts down the stretch here to earn a spot in a potential postseason rotation, he's got the ability to shut down the type of imposing lineup the Twins would surely be facing the ALDS.

Of course, whether or not he can actually put that ability to use remains in question, because even though Mauer claimed Liriano was throwing the ball exceedingly well on Tuesday night, the pitcher's results still didn't live up to his purported performance. Liriano allowed two hits and two walks while striking out only one batter over 2 1/3 innings, and let a key game-tying run come across the plate on a two-out double by Paul Konerko.

The story remains the same as it has all season for Liriano. If he can get it together mentally and take command of his pitches, he can be this team's most dominant starter. But that is one big, fat "if."

5 comments:

David said...

About that game-tying double to Konerko. It sure seemed to me (granted, just watching on TV) that Liriano was more victimized by Jack Cust's...er...Jason Kubel's immobility in right field. I think Cuddyer probably gets to that ball; Span surely does. Seems to have been the story of Liriano's season. Bad luck coupled with pitching below expectations = disaster season. Hopefully he can rectify that (and his manager can rectify his defense).

Nick N. said...

Very well put.

lookatthosetwins said...

David,

Agreed. It has been a combo of mediocre to poor pitching with bad luck. At this point, I don't know if he'd be able to shake it all off and be a contributer (although I think its far more likely than Jeff Manship contributing), but I think after a season to rest his mind and body, he will be an average to above average pitcher next year. Unless Ronny and BS give up and put him in the bull pen.

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,