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.