From the “I would have never seen this coming in a 100 years” category, Minnesota Twins LHP Francisco Liriano threw a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night. Liriano walked six (not a typo) and struck out two in the 1-0 Twins victory.
This was not only Liriano’s first no-hitter, but it was also his first complete game at any level. Liriano had never thrown a complete game in the minor leagues or major leagues. That’s a span of 304 starts.
Liriano was a master of getting out of trouble on Tuesday night. He would walk a guy, fall behind 2-0 to the next guy, and somehow wiggle out of trouble. He was behind batters all night and only threw first-pitch strikes to 11 out of the 30 batters he faced.
Normally a pitcher doesn’t get away with that, but Liriano certainly did. He was also helped by three double plays, including one in the eighth where Justin Morneau missed tagging Gordon Beckham on the throw to first by at least a foot, but Beckham was called out on the tag. When things are going your way, they are going your way.
A lot will be made about how lucky Liriano was in this game. And yes, throwing a no-hitter while only striking out two guys is not normal. But if you watched this whole game, the White Sox hit maybe two balls hard the entire game.
It wasn’t like the White Sox were hitting laser beams all over the ballpark. They were hitting slow rollers and lazy fly balls the majority of the time. The majority of the balls they hit, any beer league infielder could have made the play.
The standout plays were the Denard Span catch in the fourth and the Danny Valencia play on a groundball down the line in the seventh. Other than those two plays, the White Sox did diddly poo against Liriano.
Congratulations to Liriano for throwing the seventh no-hitter in Twins history. And for the White Sox? They have officially hit rock bottom. What ever message Ozzie Guillen is delivering, it’s not getting through.
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