Earlier in 2014, much of the concern with Francisco Liriano was focused on his velocity. That’s picked up nicely in his last few starts. Unfortunately, his results really haven’t. I thought that he seemed a little bit unlucky in his last start against the Cardinals; in his one bad inning he gave up two hits through the shift, then he made a nice pitch to Allen Craig that Craig whacked into the bullpens in center field. Sometimes these things happen. It seemed like it was a marked improvement over his earlier starts, which featured a lack of velocity, a lack of control, or both.
I suppose what I’m saying is that I’m a little more hopeful now that he’s on the right track than I was a few weeks ago. The Pirates really, really need a strong start from him tonight because they really, really need to not get swept by the Brewers in this series and they will be really, really at a disadvantage with Wandy Rodriguez on the mound tomorrow.
Anyway, the first pitch tonight is at 8:10. Wily Peralta starts tonight for the Brewers (not last night, like I originally thought), so I’ll repeat what I said last night: his ERA looks really nice, but his strikeout rate is low and his home run rate is kind of high. He should be giving up more runs than he has been. Tonight is a good night to start that regression.