Friday, June 23, 2006

Francisco Liriano outpitches one of the top 3 pitchers of all-time

Ok, so it was Clemens first game back from his "retirement." But how many times am I going to get the chance to write that headline?

Anyway, it's all true. In the 4-2 Twins win, Liriano dazzled for 8 innings, giving up only a 2-run HR to Jason Lane in the 8th. Meanwhile, 'The Rocket' was only about to go 5 innings (but threw 100 pitches), and gave up 2 runs in the 3rd, as he got saddled for the loss. Joe Nathan came on in the 9th to finish the game for The Sabean Special.

You know, if it wasn't evident before, it is now: Liriano really needs a nickname. And I think I've finally got it. Considering the focus on this game - which was pretty darn high for a regular season game in the middle of the year - with Clemens return, Liriano's first game on national TV, etc. and the fact that Liriano absolutely did not disappoint, I'm calling him "The Iceman." That's with all due respect to George Gervin.

There you have it - Francisco Liriano = The Iceman.

Look at the confidence he already brings the team. As Batgirl wrote, despite the circumstances, was there any doubt in Twins fans minds who was going to win this game? Not for me. Maybe he's already got unreasonable expectations, but I think The Iceman can handle them all. Oh yes, he's that good.

Maybe my favorite stat of the night was the fact that despite pitching 8 innings and giving up 2 runs, Francisco's ERA actually rose to 2.17. I think we can forgive him for that.

10 comments:

Ian C. said...

To avoid confusion with George Gervin, maybe Liriano could be called:

"Hombre Del Hielo"

Not sure it rolls off the tongue, but I think there's some potential there.

Ron said...

I like that nickname or something like it, because if you paid attention to his demeanor it was the EXACT same at the beginning of the game as it was in the middle as it was after the 2-run homerun. This kid is unbelievable. His mouth stayed in the same position at all times except when he took his deep breath before each pitch. And also, the fact that he STAYS on the rubber, and seems to just wait, with a hint of spite, while the batter gets ready. He never left his spot and I think as a hitter that has got to get to you. I mean, the second he gets the ball back from the catcher he is up there staring in and not smiling/frowning. Nothing. Expressionless. He is the Tim Duncan of pitchers. Thats what impressed me last night. Its going to be tough to decide between him or Santana for the Cy Young award this year, huh? (Hey, who knows at this point).

johnboyt said...

Thought I'd let you know you were linked to via Deadspin here.

Enjoy.

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

only a matter of time before you created this site...

thanks for the precious memories.

Harmon said...

great little site. as a fellow twins blogger (kinda) it's always good to read some stuff on the team.

as for the nickname i've been going with buzzsaw. i think one of the highlights of the season for me was checking out espn's realtime scoring dealie and seeing the following...

Liriano Enters Game
Batter 1 Strikes out Swinging
Batter 2 Strikes out Looking
Batter 3 Strikes out Swinging

I can't remember which game it was now but anywho that's when I felt it was time to give this kid a nickname.

MNPundit said...

Actually we called Radke the Iceman or something like it back in 2003/4, Santana was fire and Radke was ice.

Not saying that Radke is anything like in 2003/4 but maybe something else.

twins15 said...

Ian, that's a very interesting suggestion. The Spanish translation of "Iceman" would fit well. I'll have to think about that.

ron, exactly right. that's why i love this guy. he's 22 years old, facing Roger Clemens, making his first start on national TV, and he's cool and collected at all times on the mound. I don't think he'd have a realistic shot at the Cy this year because he's a rookie, and he hasn't started all year so his innings pitched are much less than other contenders, but I'll settle for AL Rookie of the Year. :D

Zach, I do what I can. :D

Harmon, heh, with Liriano that line could have been from a few games. I like Buzzsaw, but I think that fits more for him as a reliever, where he comes in and shuts it down. For now, as a starter, I'm sticking with The Iceman.

Thanks to everyone for the comments.

Anonymous said...

Some of us in MN have taken to calling him The 'Cisco Kid. Thank Sabeans for the great trade!

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