I believe we saw some hints that Francisco Liriano might be the star we've waited for the past couple years. His stat line isn't all that impressive: 6IP, 4H, 5BB, 3K, 3ER. 92 pitches (56 strikes / 36 balls). Looking deeper...
- 4 hits. That's it. 0.67 hits/inning is excellent.
- 15.3 pitches/inning. Not great, but not bad considering the walks.
- 94-95 MPH pretty consistently.
- A "quality start" - 3ER in 6IP.
- 5 walks. Yikes! That works out to 7.5BB/9IP, which is horrid. That rocketed his WHIP for this outing to 1.50 -- not good.
- I thought he looked MUCH better than the 5-13, ERA of nearly 6 pitcher we saw last year.
- He walked a lot, but it looked like he was nibbling more than he was wild. A lot of the balls he threw weren't too far out of the strike zone.
- Wild speculation here, but it seems like he gained a lot of confidence from his winter and spring success, and that didn't translate into attacking the batters last night (as evidenced by the 5 walks.) His stuff is fine. Now go after them.
- I'm cautiously optimistic. I think we're looking at double-digit wins from Liriano, who will put up some nice numbers this year. If he's not snapped up in your fantasy league, go get him now. He might not be a top-tier SP, but I think he'll prove to be rock-solid.