Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter, without pitching well. He struck out two while walking six. He only forced nine ground balls. He threw just 66 of his 123 pitches for strikes and had an expected FIP number of 5.96. Liriano’s feat came from factors beyond his control. He was really fortunate, against a really bad lineup.
The no-hitter is still an awesome spectacle. Being able to feel the pressure and nervous ballpark energy mount but, with our collective downgrading of dependent stats – wins, saves, RBI – and a better understanding of the walk, it’s time to downgrade the achievement in baseball relevance. It’s fluky like the cycle more than it is the pinnacle of pitching achievement.
Liriano’s no-hitter was a great moment, but it wasn’t a respite from his worrisome start to the season. It was a logical continuation of it just, for one night, the 20 balls put into play off him did not fall for hits.
[Photo via Getty]