Tonight, Francisco Liriano went 5.2 innings and only gave up one run. Without observing the game and just going by that stat line, you’d think that maybe he walked a few too many guys or just ran out of gas. This was not the case whatsoever. In fact, Frankie (if not spectacular) was remarkable in his ability to get out of jams.
In the fifth inning, with the bases loaded with Sox and no one out, Cisco got Rios to hit into a force play at the plate, then struck out both Konerko and Quentin on nasty sliders to end the inning.
In the sixth, the Sox again loaded the bases, this time with one out, only to see Liriano get Pierre to line out and then cede to Guerrier, who popped out Ramirez.
All told, it was a miraculous performance from Liriano in terms of pitching out of jams.
Then the seventh inning dawned, the Tighty-Whities put a man on base (Mauer) to pitch to Kubel, and that pretty much ended things:
-With Valencia playing so well at third, there seems to be no rush to hurry along Nick Punto back from injury. When Little Nicky does return, I would hope that Gardy would use him as a sub, not wrenching the starting job from a still-hitting Danny Boy.
-Will anyone really miss Mijares? He’s basically what I call a 50-50 guy. He might get the lefty out, but he also has just a great a chance at walking him or uncorking a wild pitch. Is he worth it as a LOGEY?
Preview (65-50, 1st, 1.0 GA CWS): Gio Gonzalez (10-7, 3.51) vs. Carl Pavano (14-7, 3.28). As Bert Blyleven said on the telecast tonight, Oakland is playing some decent ball right now, and can throw some quality arms at us this weekend. But is it any match for the stache? I think not.