Francisco Liriano's Debut: Not a Success, But Not a Failure

DJ FlowContributor IApril 8, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 6: Francisco Liriano #47 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Seattle Mariners at the Metrodome on opening day, April 6, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

Francisco Liriano's opening-day start my not have been the stellar performance that many Twins fans were hoping for, but it did show some key notes that are both reassuring and scary.

On the good side, he managed his pitch count efficiently, and thus completed a complete seven innings. Also, he managed zero walks, another key component to Liriano's future success.

With that, he also allowed four hits spanning those seven innings, giving him a pretty solid WHIP average of .588 in that performance, which would be ideal in most scenarios.

On the down side, it appeared that Liriano had a case of Long Ball Syndrome (see Kevin Slowey 2008 or Brad Radke 2005) as he allowed two home runs, which lead to his eventual downfall.

Obviously, this hasn't been the case for Liriano's career, so it shouldn't be an ongoing issue, but one that may warrant a look at, due to the amount of deep fly balls shooting off Mariner bats near the end of Liriano's night.

The key fact I want to throw out is that every person who reached base on him scored (generally speaking is not ideal).

All-in-all, it seems as that Francisco Liriano's opening day start may not have been the effort required to get the Twins off to a fresh start, but was enough to keep the promise of this young mans potential ongoing.