Francisco Liriano Strikes Out Eight: Why Wait?


The Pittsburgh Pirates need starting pitching.   The Bucs have numerous candidates working their way back to Pittsburgh.  The reports were buzzing from Jim Benedict on Charlie Morton’s one hit outing Tuesday night.    Jeff Karstens will pitch in a simulated game today in St. Louis while his teammates prepare to battle the St. Louis Cardinals in a key NL Central matchup.

But the candidate who seems most ready to go is Francisco Liriano.  Should Jonathan Sanchez throw well tonight in St. Louis most of Pittsburgh would be shocked as well as teams in Colorado, Kansas City, etc…

We’re cheering for Sanchez.  He has a lot going for him, but tonight’s start in St. Louis is crucial.

Mostly because Francisco Liriano seems ready to go.  Liriano struck out eight Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in five innings, allowed four hits and one run.    The Iron Pigs are a middle of the International League offensive team, they don’t strike out a ton.  So it’s a nice sign for the Buccos left hander.

Property of Bill Gentry

The challenge now is why the wait?   Liriano was supposed to pitch five innings-80 pitches last night, he threw 79 with 52 going for strikes.   He didn’t do that in his AA last outing, but exceeded expectations with all of the strikeouts and five groundouts against the Iron Pigs.  Neal Huntington has often said that the Pirates never want to have to make a move because they need to.  They don’t want to force anything. But with the lefty pitching well, the Pirates can make sure everything is rolling before they call him up.

It won’t be a popular move, but it’s one we can understand.  Liriano has some other starts scheduled before he heads to Pittsburgh.    Liriano will get six innings or 90 pitches on Tuesday and then he will try to go 100 pitches on May 5.  So in essence, don’t expect Liriano until May 10.

Why?  Is it money?  Is it stupidity?

It’s one effective start is what we will say.  The Pirates are like that scary tv show Hoarders.  They pick up trash, castoffs, etc from around the league and hang on to it for a while.  It’s worked out well in some situations, others not so great.

A lot will ride on Sanchez tonight.  Based on what all of us have seen so far, it’s hard to imagine it turning out well.  If it somehow does, and Sanchez can pitch even moderately well, damn it would be good news.

Competition for the Pirates starting rotation?

Damn that’s something we didn’t think we would ever type on the blog.   Wow.  We are going to cross this out until it happens.