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Francisco Liriano lined up to start Wild Card playoff game for Pirates

Sep 20, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets Getty Images

Here’s a sentence that would have sounded pretty crazy back in spring training: Francisco Liriano is lined up to start the Wild Card play-in game for the Pirates.

Even crazier is that the Pirates may not need him to do that if they win the NL Central, but if Pittsburgh plays in the Wild Card playoff game Liriano would likely get the call, manager Clint Hurdle told Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

It’s an option that we’ve talked about. I think the way it lines up right now, if there were no changes, Liriano would be able to pitch a play-in game or the first wild-card game which isn’t a bad option to have if that’s where you end up going.

Liriano is 16-7 with a 2.92 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 148 innings and it’s also worth noting that he’s been historically dominant versus left-handed hitters this season, which would be a nice fit if the Pirates end up facing a Reds lineup that revolves around lefties Joey Votto, Shin-Soo Choo, and Jay Bruce.

Liriano has one career playoff start, back in 2010 against the Yankees in the ALDS. It was at Target Field in Minnesota and I was there and it was sad. But if the Pirates are going to put their season in the hands of one pitcher Liriano is a pretty easy pick.

  1. paco53 - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    I am a Reds fan. I am looking for the 6 games vs. the Pirates of our 9 games. I think we will win 4 of 6 and sweep the Mets to clinch at least the lead wild card spot. With some luck, maybe the Cards will slip up.

    • lamentor79 - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      I am a Pirates fan. I think we (because I AM SUCH AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE TEAM) will win 4 of 6 and sweep the Cubs while St. Louis goes 5-4 in their last nine games (thank you, spoiler Nationals!). St. Louis will host the Reds and lose the WC with a final score of 6-3. Reds will beat up on Atlanta while the Pirates narrowly beat the Dodgers. The Reds will be too much for the Pirates in the post-season and will win the NLCS in six games. The American League is still up for grabs and the winner of the ALCS will determine whether or not Cincinnati will match up well in the WS. Boston or Detroit will beat Cincinnati in six; Oakland, Texas/Tampa/Cleveland (if they’d hit a hot/lucky streak to make it that far) wouldn’t stand a chance, and would lose in five.

      See, anyone can “think” anything they like. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen that way.

      • jm91rs - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        I like this scenario. How many bases will billy Hamilton steal in the World Series?

  2. jbriggs81 - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Would that leave Gerrit Cole lined up for the start in Game One of the Division Series?…Pretty awesome for a rookie!

  3. bailey2626 - Sep 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Francisco Liriano vs Reds: 0-3 4.41
    Francisco Liriano vs rest MLB: 16-4 2.75

    • florida76 - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:17 PM


      Pirates vs. Reds: 7-6(so far)

      At the end of the day folks, team wins carry the day. The Reds must go 4-2 against the Bucs over these next six games, or they lose the season series, just like the Cards have. Regardless of whether the Pirates earn a wildcard or division title, it’s a win-win situation. Any team in the tournament has a chance, just ask the NFL.

      • jm91rs - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        So far being the key. 6 games left with the reds and anything could happen. Exciting stuff.

    • adantsa - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      Who downvotes this? People who hate facts?

  4. stairwayto7 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    As a Pirate fan I want them to face the Braves and end the worthless Braves season!

  5. pjdigler - Sep 20, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    does anyone know who would be in line for the redcoats??

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