Review of Francisco Liriano's return

13 Apr

liriano.jpg4-2/3 innings pitched, 6 hits, 5 walks, 4 earned runs = loss. 5-1 Royals.

Well, he wasn’t sharp. That’s for damn sure. Liriano’s fastballs were left out over the plate, his sliders were in the dirt, he crossed up Redmond a few times, walked too many guys (including the veritable John Buck, of all people), and he didn’t hold runners on very well. He’s clearly not there physically yet, with his fastball barely touching 90 and his slider much slower and holding much less bite than it should. And, considering all the mistakes mentioned above, he isn’t there mentally as well. So, that’s the bad news.

And yet, I’m not as pessimistic as usual following such a listless performance and frustrating game. Strange, I know.

Because, to me, Liriano’s performance wasn’t as bad as the numbers show. Hang with me on this one.

Liriano gave up four runs during his outing. The first one started because of an infield single, with Everett playing indefensively deep considering Gathright was at the plate. The second run was directly caused by Denard Span’s terrible route in right field on a routine fly ball (blame Gardy for putting a guy in right field who admitted he hadn’t been out there since high school). The fourth run could have been avoided if Delmon Young’s throw to the plate was even average. Four earned runs was just about as bad as it could have gotten.

Now, I’m not making excuses. I’m not saying he got unlucky; the 11 baserunners in less than 5 innings is enough to flush that potential theory down the toilet. But, I am saying that to see Liriano come out and pitch as poorly as possible, to have no velocity and weak offspeed stuff and litle control, to have his defense play terribly behind him, to have numerous hits just barely find holes … for Liriano to battle through all that and still keep his team in the game, well, I’ll just say that once he gets his stuff back, he should be fine. Can’t wait for that.


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