Saturday, July 14, 2012
Contextualizing Liriano’s start against OaklandPosted by Lucas Apostoleris
Facing the Athletics on Friday night, Francisco Liriano threw what was mostly a dominating game: eight innings, four hits, four runs, one walk, and 15 strikeouts. The one mistake was a fourth-inning grand slam to Jonny Gomes, and it was a costly one, as he and the Twins wound up losing the game.
Regardless, it was still a clinic in power-pitching: 30 of his 112 pitches were swinging strikes, which is the highest total in the majors this season. He mixed fastballs (six whiffs), sliders (17), and changeups (seven) to overpower the Oakland lineup. For reference/fun, below is a table with the highest swinging strike totals within a start, dating back to the beginning of the PITCHf/x era (2008, plus plenty of 2007 games).
# Pitcher Opponent Date Swinging Strikes 1 Johan Santana TEX 2007-08-19 32 2 Tim Lincecum ATL 2010-10-07 31 3 Francisco Liriano OAK 2012-07-13 30 4 John Smoltz ARI 2007-08-19 29 5 CC Sabathia TBA 2012-06-07 27 6 Johan Santana TEX 2007-05-22 27 7 Max Scherzer PIT 2012-05-20 26 8 Brandon Morrow CLE 2010-05-05 26 9 Chris Sale TBA 2012-05-28 26 10 Clay Buchholz TEX 2010-04-22 26