Results tagged ‘ Francisco Liriano ’

Twins look to Liriano (Game 65)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins have a chance to win their third straight series with left-hander Francisco Liriano on the mound against the Rangers on Sunday.

Liriano looked just fine in his return from the disabled list on Tuesday against the Indians, when he allowed an unearned run on three hits and three walks over five innings. He was eased into that start, however, as he was lifted after just 81 pitches because the Twins wanted to be cautious after missing two weeks with inflammation in his throwing shoulder.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Sunday’s game that Liriano will have no such limit against the Rangers, though.

“We’ll let him go now,” Gardenhire said. “He’ll be fine. He’s been giving me and Andy the 10, so he feels 10, and I don’t think you can go much higher than 10 on the 10 scale.”

It’s a big start for Liriano, as the Twins certainly want to keep things rolling, having won eight of 10 and two of three against the Rangers.

Lineups for the 1:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Rangers (36-30)

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Josh Hamilton, LF
4. Michael Young, 1B
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Yorvit Torrealba, C
8. David Murphy, DH
9. Craig Gentry, CF

LHP Matt Harrison (5-5, 3.48 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 1.34 K/BB)

Twins (25-39)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Luke Hughes, 3B
6. Danny Valencia, DH
7. Jason Repko, RF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B

LHP Francisco Liriano (3-6, 5.20 ERA, 4.95 FIP, 1.17 K/BB)

Game 22 vs. Rays

It’s going to be quite cold tonight here at Target Field.

The Twins even received a shipment of specially designed hats from New Era that include built-in ear flaps to stay warm.

But it’s yet to be seen if any of the players will actually wear them during the game, as a few said they’ll wear them only during batting practice.

Either way, staying warm will be key for both teams, as the players are all expected to layer up to help fight the cold with temperatures expected to dip into the mid-30s.

Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano will also hope to heat up (no pun intended), as he’s off to a slow start this season with a 7.40 ERA over his first four outings of the season.

His ERA is certainly bloated compared to last season, but even worse, it’s his peripheral stats that are lacking this year. It’s obviously a small sample size, but he’s struck out as many as he’s walked with 14 strikeouts and 14 walks over 20 2/3 innings. He’s also served up four home runs after giving up just nine all of last season.

Liriano has always had trouble with walks, but last year he helped make up for it by striking out 201 batters over 191 2/3 innings, while walking 58.

His strikeout rate is down this season, and a big culprit could be that he’s suffering from a dip in fastball velocity, as it averaged 93.7 mph last year and is at 92.1 mph this year, according to FanGraphs.

It’s still early, so he could regain velocity as the season goes along, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can bounce back and repeat his numbers from his impressive 2010 campaign.

UPDATE: Delmon Young was a late scratch from the lineup, as he said he couldn’t get loose during batting practice. Matt Tolbert is now in the lineup, playing second base and batting ninth. Michael Cuddyer shifts from first base to right field, Jason Kubel from right field to left field and Luke Hughes from second base to first base. Additionally, Jim Thome (oblique) and Jason Repko (quad) are also unavailable tonight, leaving backup catcher Steve Holm as the lone option off the bench.

Twins lineup vs. Rays (7:10 p.m. start at Target Field)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Jason Kubel, LF
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Drew Butera, C
8. Luke Hughes, 1B
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B

LHP Francisco Liriano (1-3, 7.40 ERA, 20 2/3 IP, 14 K, 14 BB, 6.38 FIP)

Rays lineup

1. Sam Fuld, LF
2. Johnny Damon, DH
3. Justin Upton, CF
4. Ben Zobrist, RF
5. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
6. Felipe Lopez, 3B
7. Kelly Shoppach, C
8. Dan Johnson, 1B
9. Reid Brignac, SS

RHP Wade Davis (2-2, 2.73 ERA, 26 1/3 IP, 10 K, 8 BB, 3.80 FIP)

Rain postpones Wednesday night’s game

Well, so much for the last post, as rain wiped out Wednesday night’s game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. There’s still no rescheduled make-up date, although it’s likely to be played on Sept. 8 or Sept. 15, when both clubs share a common off-day.

The Twins also announced that the two clubs will not be playing two on Thursday, as both clubs play travel after Thursday’s 1:05 p.m. ET start and play day games on Friday. The Twins host the A’s in their opener at Target Field and the Yankees travel to face the Red Sox in their first game of the year at Fenway Park.

Both teams adjusted their rotation with right-handers Carl Pavano and Freddy Garcia having their scheduled starts pushed back. Pavano will now start on Friday at Target Field, while Garcia won’t make his first start of the season until April 15 against the Rangers.

Twins left-hander Franciso Liriano will stay on regular rest and start on Thursday, while the Yankees will turn to right-hander A.J. Burnett on his originally scheduled start.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t seem too excited about the rain out and had this to say after the game was called:

“I’m not a weather forecaster but there’s green [on the weather map indicating rain] all the way to Detroit,” Gardenhire said. “So there might be a window, but it’s just a house with a window open.”

Mauer gets the day off

The Twins enter Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Rogers Centre already in a 2-0 hole, and it doesn’t figure to get any easier against the Blue Jays with catcher Joe Mauer out of the lineup.

It’s somewhat of a surprising move, as it’s not a day game after a night game, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t mention anything after yesterday’s loss about sitting Mauer today.

But Mauer, who is coming off minor surgery on his left knee, figured to get days off here and there, as the club plays games on 23 of the first 24 days of April.

And Gardenhire did say before Sunday’s game that Mauer took quite the beating behind the plate yesterday with left-hander Francisco Liriano struggling with control problems.

“Frankie bounced about 50 percent of his pitches,” Gardenhire quipped, “and Joe had to block them. So he got beat around a bit yesterday.”

So maybe it’s as good a time as any for Mauer to get a break, but the Twins certainly don’t want to fall to 0-3 for the first time since the 1981 season.

At least Justin Morneau is in the starting lineup, even though he’s serving as the club’s designated hitter. He hasn’t looked great so far at the plate, but it figures he’ll start to come around with more at-bats, as he obviously got a late start to Spring Training.

Matt Tolbert is also slated to see action at shortstop, as Gardenhire said he wanted to see all of his players play in the first series of the season. So far, only outfielder Jason Repko has yet to get in there, but it’s mostly because center fielder Denard Span is the only one doing any hitting for the club through two games.

Lineups for 12:07 CT start at Rogers Centre:

1. Denard Span CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2B
3. Delmon Young LF
4. Justin Morneau DH
5. Michael Cuddyer 1B
6. Jason Kubel RF
7. Danny Valencia 3B
8. Drew Butera C
9. Matt Tolbert SS

Nick Blackburn RHP

Blue Jays
1. Yunel Escobar SS
2. Juan Rivera DH
3. Jose Bautista RF
4. Adam Lind 1B
5. Aaron Hill 2B
6. Edwin Encarnacion 3B
7. Travis Snider LF
8. J.P. Arencibia C
9. Mike McCoy CF

Brett Cecil LHP

A New Day

Yesterday was an Opening Day the Twins would rather forget.

In fact, the 13-3 drubbing was a historic loss for the franchise, as it marked the club’s worst margin of defeat in a season-opening game. Their previous mark for Opening Day futility was set in 1995 when they lost 9-0 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

They also tied a franchise record for runs allowed on Opening Day dating all the way back to 1929 when the Senators lost 13-4 to the Philadelphia A’s.

So while it was certainly an ugly start to the season, it was still just the first game of the year. And remember that a 13-3 loss and a 1-0 loss count the same in the standings. There’s simply no need to hit the panic button after one game.

And of course, it can all change today with a solid pitching performance from left-hander Francisco Liriano.

Liriano, though, needs to make sure he keeps the ball in the ballpark, as he surrendered three homers in a loss to the Jays late last season, and the Jays exploded for four homers yesterday.

So it’ll be an interesting matchup for Liriano and the Twins, who hope to bounce back from yesterday’s rough loss.

“Last night was just one of those nights where they whacked the ball around pretty good on us,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Saturday’s game. “So hopefully we’ll turn it around today, and Frankie will give us a good start.”

Lineups for the 12:07 p.m. CT start at Rogers Centre:

1. Denard Span CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2B
3. Joe Mauer C
4. Justin Morneau 1B
5. Delmon Young LF
6. Jim Thome DH
7. Michael Cuddyer RF
8. Danny Valencia 3B
9. Alexi Casilla SS

Francisco Liriano, LHP

Blue Jays:

1. Yunel Escobar SS
2. Jose Bautista RF
3. Adam Lind 1B
4. Aaron Hill 2B
5. Edwin Encarnacion DH
6. Jayson Nix 3B
7. Juan Rivera LF
8. Jose Molina C
9. Mike McCoy CF

Kyle Drabek RHP