Liriano’s Swagger

“I definitely see the swagger,” outfielder Denard Span said. “He’s definitely getting it back. I’m glad I’m not hitting. It looks nasty in center field.” -as quoted by LEN3 in the Strib.

Game 15: Twins 6 (11-4), Indians 0 (6-8)

Francisco Liriano looked great for the second consecutive outing. This time, the lineup he faced wasn’t as formidable as the Red Sox, but he got the job done, pitching eight shutout innings while allowing six hits and two walks against six strikeouts. No member of the opposing lineup got more than a single hit, and there was only one extra base hit (Kearns’ sixth inning double). The most effective Cleveland batter against Liriano was Jhonny Peralta, who drew a pair of walks and singled off of the lefty.

Liriano’s performance made for a game that was easy on the eyes. After all, the Twins can strand all the runners they want if the starting pitchers are going to put up zeros. In Wednesday’s game, however, the team left just four men on base. Denard Span and Michael Cuddyer both did something that hasn’t happened too frequently this year: they both knocked in more than one run on a hit that wasn’t a home run.

One trend I am really liking this year is the team’s patience at the plate. The Twins have walked 76 times this year, most in the American League. It’s an odd stat for an organization that usually cultivates free-swingers (Puckett, Hunter, etc.). Hopefully it is something that will continue.

WPA Stars of the Game:
1. Francisco Liriano
2. Denard Span
3. Brendan Harris

Standings (through Wednesday)
1. Min 11-4, 80-48, –
2. Det 8-7, 67-72, 3.0
3. Cle 6-8, 46-61, 4.5
4. KC 6-9, 71-86,  5.0
5. Chi 5-10, 57-68, 6.0

The Twins have their third opportunity to complete a sweep this season in this afternoon’s game at Target Field. Scott Baker vs Mitch Talbot.

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