Twins-Red Sox: Guess Who's Back? Francisco Liriano Torches Boston

Jimmy MohlerContributor IIIApril 15, 2010

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 30:  Pitcher Francisco Liriano #47 of the Minnesota Twins throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates  on March 30, 2010 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Today may have been the most important start for the Twins yet this season.

There were a lot of question marks surrounding Minnesota's rotation before the 2010 campaign.

Before today's game, I was very optimistic. After today's game...well, let's just say it's going to be interesting.

Through the first few innings, The Franchise looked a little rough around the edges. He let a few too many Sox reach scoring position a bit too early but always seemed to get the groundout he needed. He sprinkled a few K's in as well.

But following the first three innings, Francisco Liriano was all but unstoppable. He finished the game with seven IP, eight K's, and zero earned runs. Man, I'm glad they stuck with this guy.

Now I'm not just saying what I'm saying because of one stellar start. What really impressed me was his stuff.

Twins broadcasters Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven showed a cross-section view of Liriano's slider from 2006 and 2010. They were identical. Not since the 2006 season have I seen Liriano hit the mid 90s with his fastball and bring a nasty slider with it. Now he even brings a great two-seam fastball into the mix, which kept Red Sox hitters off balance all day.

It's going to be very interesting to see where Liriano goes from here. The fastball looks great. The slider looks filthy. The two-seamer moves well and has pop.

The only things I think Franky needs to improve on are his changeup and his command. When that happens, watch out. If the Red Sox couldn't hit him at this stage in his resurgence, he'll be all but unhittable. 

So kudos, Frankie Franchise. Welcome back to Minnesota.