I’m going to skip right over the other possible contenders this week* and get straight to the award. It really can’t go anywhere else other than to the Minnesota Twins’ Francisco Liriano.
As I’m sure you will know already, Liriano pitched a no-hitter against the White Sox on Tuesday night.
Now, it was far from being the most dominating no-hitter you will ever see. He struck out only two batters and walked six along the way. However, it wasn’t as though Liriano was deliberately avoiding the batters so as to keep his no-hit bid alive as the game progressed. And in some ways, the fact that he kept putting runners on base made the effort more impressive because he had to pitch out of trouble.
You can also add in several other factors:
- The Twins had been struggling leading up to the game, so this was a team low on confidence,
- Liriano was one of the contributing factors to those struggles, to the extent that there was speculation he could be shunted to the bullpen if he performed poorly against the White Sox
- The only run support he received was a Jason Kubel solo home run; he had no margin for error in terms of winning the game, never mind the no-no bid.
No-hitters come in many different forms, all memorable for their own different reasons. Liriano’s name goes into the record books as the pitcher of the 248th no-hitter in MLB history and he can have a BGB Performance of the Week award as well, just to top off his week.
(* Okay, Tim Hudson definitely deserves an honourable mention for his one-hitter on Wednesday).