For two innings everything appeared to be right with the world. After 2 innings, Francisco Liriano had throw 22 pitches, gotten all 6 batters out, and had struck out 2 batter (both on nasty, nasty sliders), and it looked like he was back to his dominating self.
Then he threw a pitch in the dirt, stood bent at the waist, looking like his left arm was about to fall off, with what we later learned was left elbow pain.
Basically, the worst case scenario. Everything looks great, the rehab goes well, he gets in to start, and can't make it through 30 pitches. And let's just say that the list of pitchers that have had long, productive careers with recurring elbow pain is not a very long one. So not only will Liriano not be back this year, (PURE SPECULATION AHEAD), but I'm worried about next year. And his career. Because an elbow injury is a scary thing.
At the very least, the Twins could have picked him up and gotten the win. Matt Garza certainly gave them that opportunity, throwing 5 2/3 innings of relief and giving up just 1 run, a run he wouldn't have given up if the ump had made the correct call on a stolen base the pitch before. Instead, Dan Haren shut the Twins out over 8 innings, and Huston Street was able to get the save after that.
Then Freddy Garcia goes out and throw 7.2 perfect innings before allowing a hit, and the Sox crushed the Angels. 1.5 games ahead in the Wildcard. 2 games back of the division pending the Tigers game. 10-game roadtrip coming up. Liriano is officially done, and no one is sure yet about Radke.
We still have 1.5 game lead, but things looked a lot better yesterday.