I suppose Liriano struggling in a start was bound to happen at some point. Thursday against Cleveland, it did. The culprits were mostly just Liriano himself having trouble finding the strike zone, and the Indians knocking a couple of balls out of the park against Liriano.
Liriano walked 3 men in 5 innings, but he also throw 40 balls (compared to 57 strikes) which really drove up the pitch count. He also gave up solo HR to Casey Blake, Jhonny Peralta, and Travis Hafner (the best hitter in the AL). By the time the smoke cleared, he had given up 5 runs (4 ER), and struck out 6 in his 5 innings of work, raising the ERA to 2.12 (which, if you're following along at home, is pretty darn good).
The Twins offense, despite valiant efforts later in the game, could not overcome this deficit. Cuddyer, Morneau, and Punto got some RBI, but the Twins couldn't muster quite enough big hits in the 6-4 loss.
One good thing coming out of this game is that Kyle Lohse pitched 2 shutout innings giving up only 1 hit, which should increase his trade value if any team out there is looking for any type of pitching. Sure, the ERA is over 7, but hopefully some team is really desparate! A million dollar arm and a ten cent head? Perhaps. But maybe that's enough for someone.
Twins face the Indians again Friday with Brad Radke taking the mound. Maybe the wily veteran can get the Twins off on another winning streak. Without Detroit winning again, something needs to happen soon if the Twins are to have any chance.