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Francisco Liriano’s Control Breakdown

September 8, 2012 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Francisco Liriano hasn't been a saviour for the Chicago White Sox.
Francisco Liriano has been slightly better with the Sox, but his control remains awful.

What’s going on with Manager Robin Ventura’s starting rotation for the White Sox lately? Two quality starts in the last two weeks? Really?!

Francisco Liriano, who has looked pretty sharp over his final three outings in August, had a serious breakdown in control last weekend and then took an even harder ass pounding Friday night in KC, getting burned for six hits, five runs (all earned), two homers and four walks in five innings. Yuck.

There’s a reason Liriani has been winding up on even more waiver wire lately.

Meanwhile, the White Sox are falling apart, but — fortunately — not losing too much ground on a Detroit team that isn’t exactly taking advantage. Still, the loser of this division race is putting themselves in deep trouble in the Wild Card standings.

But back to Liriano for a moment.

Coming off a decent August, the enigmatic starter has issued 11 free passes in nine innings over the past two starts. For the season, Liriano has walked 5.25 batters per nine innings – the worst control of his career. Yuck.

Overall, it’s been another season of disappointment. He’s stayed healthy, so there’s that. He’s managed to stick around in his starts a bit longer, but is still far from looking like a workhorse. Yet with just five wins to show for a full season worth of action during which his WHIP and ERA have been blights on his owners’ roster, we are no closer to figuring out whether this talented lefty, who turns 29 next month, will ever rediscover his 2006 form or not.

Based on the past two years, it sure looks like a sucker’s bet.

To say this dude is merely inconsistent is like saying the Kardashians are merely annoying.

Yes, he’s been slightly better since arriving via trade from Minnesota in late-July, but clearly Liriano is trending in the wrong direction again. Why Ventura let him come out for the sixth inning Friday shall remain one of the life’s great mysteries.

No one doubts how filthy Liriano’s stuff can be; but when he can’t get that stuff over the plate, it really doesn’t matter, does it?

“I feel like I’m not doing my job now,” Liriano said, in trying to shoulder the blame for the loss.

By the way, what’s up with Chicago’s problems against KC this year? The Pale Hole have only taken four of 13 games against their AL Central rivals, meaning they are 70-54 against everyone else. If Detroit winds up getting its act together and passes the White Sox, it better send a sweet thank you gift to the Royals.

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