Posted at 8:18 AM on July 14, 2006
by David Zingler
Panic and disbelief raged in Twins Territory last night after the Tribe used the long ball to touch up their once pristine pitcher for 5 runs in 5 innings. Itís time to take a deep breath and calm down however, these things happen to major league pitchers Ė each and every one.
As I talked to friends and acquaintances in the last week or so, the volume of their voice would lower in to a church-like whisper of reverence when they mentioned Francisco Liriano's name, "He could win 20 games," one baseball-savvy co-worker said. When I expressed doubt about that statement, he seemed stunned.
While I think Lirianoís season will be resounding success, there is no way you can expect him to go 20-2 with a 1.80 ERA. After all, he is a rookie, heís likely to slow down as he approaches 200 innings, the league will start to catch up to him and, most importantly, heís due to hit a bump or two. In short, Lirianoís first half was too good to be true.
That being said, when you examine the numbers, the freshman phenomís outing last night wasnít really that bad - he gave up just 5 hits and struck out 6. As good as he his, expect a few more similar outings before season's end. While Liriano may inspire awe among his followers, he's no god. Heck, heís not even Santana.
he would have to come down from his first half pace to only win 20. he'll also have to pitch a ton of 7 and 8 inning starts to approach 200 innings. he'll get tired, but the twins were smart enough to realize that if they're gonna get 160 good innings out of him, it's better to have it at the end of the season. watch verlander now as he gets closer to 160.
the good news from last night is we don't have to have lew ford batting for a while.
Even if he's only a .500 pitcher for the rest of the season (which I'm pretty sure he can top) he'll still end up being 18-8 or something around there. He still has about 2 dozen more starts for the year, and if he ends up anywhere near his projected numbers, it'll be all up to what Papelbon does that will decide the ROY.
The wierd thing about Liriano is that he's gotten the decision in each of his starts, you have to think that will change. So, he could go well over .500 and not win 20.
Also, a wire to wire stater gets about 33-35 starts per year, which means about 17 each half. So for Liriano to get two dozen in 2.5 months is a stretch.
I'll put the over under at 17 wins......
If he pitches like he usually does he will win 20 or very close to it. He is winning decision and he needed very little run support to do it. The last outing was the first time he gave up more then 3 ER.