Apr 13, 2011, 2:50 PM EDT
Prior to this afternoon’s game Ron Gardenhire told reporters that he and pitching coach Rick Anderson have been trying to convince Francisco Liriano to “pitch to contact” rather than focusing on racking up strikeouts.
Liriano apparently listened, because this is what happened in the fourth inning:
Six runs on eight hits and maybe three of them were well-struck. Even the double was on a ground ball down the third base line. And he needed a strikeout just to escape the nightmare inning filled with bloopers falling in and grounders getting through.
There are certainly positive aspects of pitching to contact, including better control and going deeper in games, both of which Liriano could stand to improve upon. However, when a pitcher is coming off a season in which he racked up 201 strikeouts in 192 innings while posting a 3.62 ERA does it really make much sense to ask him to “pitch to contact”?
Beyond that, why should Liriano trust that the Twins’ sub par defense (which today includes Michael Cuddyer at second base) is up to the task of making him look good with a pitch-to-contract approach? Last season no defense in the league turned a lower percentage of balls in play into outs than the Twins did behind Liriano and they certainly didn’t do him any favors today.
To be clear, Liriano has not pitched well through three starts this season. He also isn’t getting much help.
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff 96
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 66
- The Marlins are going to change everything except their biggest problem this offseason 51
- Drooling over Miguel Sano’s incredible numbers through 50 career games 35
- Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired 104
- Settling the Scores: Tuesday’s results 81
- Yankees reveal Mark Teixeira’s shin injury is “more than we thought” 16
- There’s a chicken pox outbreak in the Royals’ clubhouse and multiple players are infected 28
- Sarah Palin sticks up for Curt Schilling, tells ESPN to “stick to sports” (266)
- Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired (104)
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff (97)
- Why Mike Mussina keeps getting hosed in the Hall of Fame voting (89)
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights (87)