The first two runners Liriano faced scored against him, but that was all the Tigers could muster in 8 innings against Francisco. In all, Liriano went 8 strong, giving up 2 runs, and tying a career-best with 12 strikeouts. He allowed just 6 baserunners (3 hits allowed, 3 BB). If it weren't for one pitch he left up to Magglio Ordonez, it could have very well been 8 scoreless innings.
Instead, he left after 8 in a 2-2 ballgame, and the normally reliable Twins bullpen strugged through 2 innings, ultimately ending with Rincon giving up a run on a Craig Monroe base hit. Nothing was really hit solid all inning, and if anything would have gone right in the half-inning, Rincon would have got out of there unscathed. But he didn't, the Twins lose, and that's how baseball works.
Interesting to note how both of the times Detroit scored it started the same way - with a weak grounder past Castillo. Castillo can make some great plays at times, but sometimes I wonder about his range to his left. Sure, didn't look all that good last night. He did some really nice things offensively, but if he gets either of those, well, things are a lot different. Let's just say I agree that a younger Castillo may have made those plays.
But no use dwelling on that now. All around it was a very well-played game by both sides, which neither of them really making any big mistakes. Just a play here of there, and things could have changed. But that's baseball. Just frustrating becuase this is probably the game in the series that we were supposed to win, as even Tigers fans were a little surprised.
The other crappy thing about Friday night was that the White Sox managed to come back and win their game in the 9th, and the Yankees easily took care of the D-Rays. Which means the Twins lose a game on both. It's way too early to be thinking about any of that, but well, I'm human.
Today's matchup features the streaking Brad Radke (9-7, 4.74 ERA) vs. Nate Robertson (9-6, 3.70 ERA). This is a bigger game for the Twins than the Tigers, not only because of the standings, but because I believe Detroit has now won 8 of 10 against the Twins this year. I don't think the Twins will lose confidence or anything if they lose this game, but well, it'd be nice to have a shot at taking 2 of 3 from the best team in baseball with Johan Santana on the mound.