There hasn't been much news recently, and why Francisco Liriano is so tantalizing and yet so annoying is a compelling subject, so I spent much of the morning watching three of his starts, two of which I'll discuss here. April 7 vs. Orioles: 4 IP, 4 K, 2 BB, 6 R. Liriano's fastball came in at 90-91 MPH, although he did occasionally dial it up to 93. His changeup, which he threw at around 84 MPH, is better than I'd remembered. (He also throws a slider that doesn't break a ton, but it's still probably his best pitch, since he can throw it hard, sometimes as hard as 88 MPH in the other starts I watched.) Liriano gave up a solo homer to Adam Jones in the second on a pretty decent low fastball; that Jones managed to hit it out probably says more about Jones than it says about Liriano. Liriano then promptly gave up a four-pitch walk to Matt Wieters, however, and was all over the place against Mark Reynolds. (He struck Reynolds out, but that's not hard to do.) In the third, Liriano gave up a leadoff single to Ronny Paulino. He then got behind in the count against Robert Andino and gave up a single, and Paulino came home when Josh Willingham bungled the play in left. Liriano again started 2-0 against Nolan Reimold, who ended up hitting a ground ball into the hole that Jamey Carroll couldn't make a play on. Later he got J.J. Hardy to ground into a double play. Liriano tended to have problems with men on base. After a good first inning, his control faltered, and he often threw pitches early in counts that were nowhere near the zone. Liriano gave up three runs in a fourth inning in which he didn't get much help from Willingham or third baseman Danny Valencia.
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Bucs Dugout | Dec 31