Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Liriano’s Back

Well, sort of. He did pitch yesterday. However, he was clearly not ready as he showed almost complete lack of control of his fastball.  He barely threw his slider, which is probably the plan considering the havoc that pitch wrecks on the arm.  He gave up four runs, which is  a lot, but I think the control and velocity will come back. He didn’t show any discomfort, which is great.

That is about all that went great, however.  The offense was just plain bad. They seemed to get runners on, but failed to get them over, or get them in.  We hit the ball hard several times to left, but it always seemed to hang up there for Mark Tehan. I didn’t see the exact stats on what the wind was doing, but that had to be a small factor.  It seems that when gomez has an 0 for day, the offense follows suit. Except the other night where all of our hits came from the bottom 4 hitters, that was bizarre.

We have the tigers tonight for two, and the (Devil) Rays for two following that.  I hope the Tigers don’t snap out of their funk today or tomorrow (or really ever, but that seems impossible).


7 Comments so far

  1. sirsean April 14th, 2008 8:05 am

    The wind was a big factor in left yesterday. I was watching the Royals’ broadcast, and their commentators described left field as a “graveyard.”

    And we really didn’t get many guys on. We had what, 5 or 6 baserunners all game? The offense just didn’t show up. It’s a disturbing trend that hit Santana hard last year: when the team has faith in the pitcher, they seem to decide not to try to score any runs. Perhaps Liriano’s bad start will entice the offense to actually try to drive in runs during his starts.

    We need to bounce back from this and play well against Detroit. Nothing cures a team’s woes quite like playing against the Twins, and I don’t want to let them start to dig themselves out after those blowouts in Chicago the last two days (Konerko and Crede BOTH hit grand slams yesterday).

  2. MarkW April 14th, 2008 11:01 am

    MY personal concern is lack of control and too many walks (5 was it?) he still struck out 4 in 4 innings, if Hernandez did that we’d be handing him the Cy Young! I think it was obviously a scrutinized game for Liriano as all eyes were upon him, but cripes, put a 5 spot on the board against Brian Bannister and this discussion ends sooner about his “struggles”. I think it’s the offense that should be scrutinized as why they could only manage 1 run in the 1st inning and put up nice round digits the rest of the way… Oh and what a suprise, Kubel leads the team in almost every batting category, didn’t see THAT coming!

  3. sirsean April 14th, 2008 11:06 am

    Yes, 5. A career high for Liriano.

    But I’ll posit that even if the offense had bailed him out and we’d won the game, there’s still some cause for concern over his lack of command and velocity. We don’t want to be in the position where we need 5+ runs from the offense every day. I’d like Liriano 2008 to be about 75% of Liriano 2006. And my concern is that it doesn’t look like he’s close.

    He did complain about the weather, saying it was so cold he couldn’t feel his hands. We’ll see what happens when he gets to the Dome.

    (Kubel is the best hitter on the team. That’s why he’s my only Twins player in both my fantasy leagues.)

  4. Grizz April 14th, 2008 11:45 am

    I am fairly convinced that if Slowey was healthy enough, they wouldn’t have brought up Liriano anyways, because he certainly wasn’t setting the world on fire in any of minor league starts. It almost seemed like they didn’t have many options and decided to throw him out there. Considering the situation, I would say it was fairly successful, especially considering it was the coldest weather he had pitched in, considering his “cold” start in AAA was 55 degrees. I think the more starts he gets, the more of a grasp he will get on his delivery, leading to much better control.

  5. FunBobby April 14th, 2008 12:39 pm

    The weather was kind of crappy for him to make his first start. I wonder if they would have been better of just spot starting brian bass or something. Or call up Humber for a start. Either way it will be interesting to see what Gardy does assuming Slowey is ready to go next time through the rotation.

  6. IowaWigman April 14th, 2008 12:49 pm

    I was surprised they used Liriano considering how cold it was. Not sure what other options there were for the game, but to bring a guy back from Tommy John surgery and have his first MLB start be in a game where the windchill is in the low 30’s, well that just doesn’t seem like the wisest move to me.

  7. sirsean April 14th, 2008 12:49 pm

    I don’t think they could have done anything like that with Bass/Humber. If Slowey can’t go and Liriano’s supposed to be the next on the list, keeping him at AAA sends a message to everyone that he’s not even close to ready. And having Gardy step up in front of the reporters and giving his standard “Everything’s fine, by-golly-gee-whiz Francisceeey is great, we’re just giving him a little extra time” would ring pretty hollow.

    Also, Humber is out of options, so once we bring him up we can never send him back down again. So we want to wait until we’re absolutely sure.

    I think it’ll just take Liriano some time. It’s easy to forget that he hasn’t pitched in 19 months, and he’s obviously not going to be at his peak right now. (If he were at his peak right now, we should have brought him back last August. Given that that would have been monumentally foolhardy, I’d say expecting him to be Liriano 2006 right now is also pretty foolhardy.)

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