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Francisco Liriano becomes 30th ever to fan 15 and lose

Jul 13, 2012, 11:35 PM EDT

Francisco Liriano Getty Images

Francisco Liriano whiffed a career-high 15 batters on Friday night, but he still took a loss in a 6-3 game after giving up four runs — three earned — in eight innings against the A’s.

Jonny Gomes hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to account for all of the scoring off Liriano. It was one of just four hits he allowed.

Liriano joins Jake Peavy and Cliff Lee as the only active pitchers to have a 15-strikeout game turn into a loss. It happened to Peavy, then with San Diego, when he gave up two runs in seven innings against the Braves on May 22, 2006. Lee did it last year, allowing three runs in seven innings in a 5-0 loss to the Braves. Both Peavy and Lee actually fanned 16 in their losses.

Liriano is in really good company, though. The feat had been performed only seven other times since 1990: three times by Randy Johnson, once by Pedro Martinez, once by Curt Schilling and once by John Smoltz. And once by Sterling Hitchcock, but we’ll gloss over that one.

  1. Kevin Gillman - Jul 13, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Francisco Liriano is an enigma. There is no doubt he has talent, but he truly hasn’t been the same consistent pitcher he was before the Tommy John surgery.

    • dan1111 - Jul 14, 2012 at 5:34 AM

      It’s worth noting that Liriano’s reputation was built entirely on a great run of 16 starts in 2006. Because this was interrupted by injury, it is easy to create a story in which he was inevitably going to be a great pitcher and only Tommy John surgery stopped him. However, the reality was far less certain. Lots of pitchers have been amazing for half a season, only to have lackluster careers.

      • Kevin Gillman - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Do you think this has something to do with his work ethic? I know that during that run earlier in his career, he was nearly un-hittable, but he hasn’t been anything near that since. Remember, the Twins didn’t want to get rid of Johan Santana, but they did because they knew they still had Liriano. It has to be frustrating to watch him pitch at times.

  2. nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Hey, let’s not forget the great Steve Carlton, who set what was then the MLB record with 19 K’s and lost 4-3 to the Miracle Mets of ’69.

  3. pisano - Jul 14, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    I saw clips of this game and he had great stuff, this poor bastard deserved much better than what he got.

    • hcf95688 - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:44 AM

      Not at all, pisano. He’s the one that served up that meatball to Gomes.

      Congrats to him on his great “accomplishment”, GO A’s!

  4. alexjm3449 - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    keep throwing like this franky freakout so we can get something for you in a trade!!

  5. deepstblu - Jul 14, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Hitchcock tied a Padres record held by Clay Kirby and Fred Norman in that game. You’re going to gloss over something like that? It’s…it’s like I don’t even know this blog anymore.

  6. migoli - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    dan111, Yes some guys starts a career hot and fade but i watched all of his starts that year, Liriano was different, he was legit. i really dont think someone who watched all of Lirianos starts that year would say what you said

  7. pepefreeus - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Just to add to the fun, Pedro was Smoltz’s opponent in his loss and Smoltz was Peavy’s in his.

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