Francisco Liriano is one win away from a World Series title despite limited usage this postseason.
The Houston Astros are one win away from a World Series title after winning one of the greatest postseason baseball games in recent memory. Lost in the drama of these games is the fact that the Astros are only carrying one left handed pitcher in their bullpen, past Minnesota Twins lefty Francisco Liriano.
Liriano has seen scarce usage this postseason, only posting 1.2 innings across the ALDS and ALCS while giving up one earned run and striking out one. Given his abysmal stat line this year, it is hard to blame A.J. Hinch for the lack of trust in him so far. He threw 97 innings this season while giving up 105 hits and 66 runs.
Regardless of the usage, it is exciting as Twins fans to see Liriano so close to becoming a world champion. Let’s relive a couple of his most exciting moments.
The Rookie Campaign
Liriano’s official rookie season was 2006, and it was a spectacular one. He went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA and 144 strikeouts across 121 innings. He was an all star and finished third in the rookie of the year voting behind fellow Astro Justin Verlander and Jonathan Papelbon.
His best game of the season came on July 2, when he struck out 12 Brewers across eight innings while giving up only three hits.
Unfortunately, as was the case throughout his Twins career, his season was shortened by injury. Liriano only appeared twice in August and September due to elbow pain that would require Tommy John surgery in the offseason.
Returning to Form
Liriano appeared to be back on track in 2010 following a couple mediocre seasons in 2008 and 2009. He posted a 14-10 record with a 3.62 ERA and 201 strikeouts while finishing 11th in the
Cy Young Award voting.
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On May 3, 2011, Francisco Liriano threw his first major league shutout against the Chicago White Sox. This was no ordinary shutout, though. It was the first no-hitter in 12 seasons for the Twins franchise.
Liriano threw the no-hitter despite not having his best command. He walked six batters and only struck out two. Nevertheless, it was still a moment that is engrained in the minds of Twins fans everywhere.
Best of luck to Liriano and the Astros tomorrow as they hope to ride the arm of their big ace (and former Twins rival) to a World Series victory!