Tuesday night, you watched Francisco Liriano throw a no-hitter.
Wednesday morning, you try to trade him.
I've got nothing against the fine folks of the Minneapolis area. Nice people, smart people, welcoming people. And the Twins have had a slew of things go wrong with their team in 2011, so they were entitled to the good luck they got in Chicago on Tuesday. But let's see this performance for what it really is — a gigantic fluke.
Most no-hitters come with dominating elements, but there was no such theme to Liriano's start. He walked six, struck out just two. Only 66 of his 123 pitches were strikes. He benefited from three double-plays behind him (in that respect, the walks pushed the no-hitter along quicker), and a chilly, overcast night didn't hurt. Liriano recorded 12 outs on the ground, 13 in the air.
It was Liriano's first career complete game and first career shutout. The Twins clearly had him on a short leash in the ninth; Matt Capps was throwing in the bullpen, ready if needed. Ron Gardenhire is a skipper looking to win games, and the Twins only managed one run off Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton.
Liriano's still got a messy 6.61 ERA over the course of the year, with 24 walks against 20 strikeouts over 32.3 innings. His next start comes Monday at Fenway Park. You've got about 140 hours to get yourself out of this.
Was Liriano on your bench for this one? Are you buying? Selling? Impressed? Still in a state of shock? The floor is now open for comments.
Image courtesy Associated Press