Francisco Liriano throws unlikely no-hitter

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Francisco Liriano throws a pitch in the second inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York City on April 7, 2011. UPI/John Angelillo

Entering Tuesday night’s game with the White Sox, Twins’ starter Francisco Liriano held a 9.13 ERA. In his previous start, he lasted just three innings and there were rumors that Kevin Slowey would replace him in the rotation.

So naturally, Liriano no-hit the ChiSox on Tuesday. Granted, it wasn’t a masterpiece as he walked six and struck out just two. But it was the first no-hitter of the 2011 MLB season and Minnesota’s first no-no since Eric Milton accomplished the feat back in 1999. Still, for a guy who came into the game with an 18/18 K/BB ratio and a 1.90 WHIP, Liriano’s performance was rather stunning.

Or was it? Entering the night, he was 5-0 in his last five starts against the White Sox, who were utterly helpless against the lefty on Tuesday. Plus, the Twins claimed a few days ago that the thought they had discovered inconsistency in the Liriano’s delivery. Maybe the adjustments coupled with the opponent created a perfect storm for Liriano to get his groove back.

The talks of being replaced in the rotation will certainly die down now for Liriano. He’s bought himself a couple of more starts, although if he reverts back to the same awful pitcher he was before Tuesday night then the Kevin Slowey rumors will no doubt arise again. Here’s hoping for Liriano and the Twins’ sake, this will light a fire under this struggling club.

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