Drew Butera, Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano faces Tigers in no-hitter followup

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After being pushed back a day because of a sore throat, Francisco Liriano gets Detroit tonight in his first start since throwing his no-hitter against the White Sox a week ago.

The extra rest figures to do his arm some good, as he blew away his previous season high by throwing 123 pitches in his first career complete game.  He didn’t throw more than 97 pitches in any of his previous five starts this season.

As Liriano tries to match Johnny Vander Meer with consecutive no-nos — the typical bid never seems to last past the second inning — he’ll be facing a team he’s 4-4 with a 4.79 ERA against in 12 starts and four relief appearances.  It’ll be his first outing against Detroit this year.

Here’s a possible Tigers lineup and how each hitter has fared against him:

CF Austin Jackson: 3-for-11, .273/.429/.364
2B Scott Sizemore: 2-for-5, .400/.400/.600
DH Magglio Ordonez: 10-for-26, .385/.407/.731
1B Miguel Cabrera: 7-for-20, .350/.391/.800
C Victor Martinez: 8-for-18, .444/.474/.722
RF Brennan Boesch: 3-for-6, .500/.667/.667
LF Ryan Raburn: 4-for-15, .267/.353/.467
SS Jhonny Peralta: 7-for-24, .292/.414/.417
3B Brandon Inge: 4-for-31, .129/.156/.226

Alternatively, the Tigers could go with the left-handed-hitting Alex Avila behind the plate and sit either Boesch or Raburn. Avila has never faced Liriano.

As much success as the heart of the Tigers order has had against Liriano, the southpaw might be fortunate just to put together another quality start tonight. He had only one in five outings prior to the no-hitter.

Stephen Strasburg unlikely to pitch in the NLDS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals walks off the field after an injury in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.

Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.

The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.

A.J. Cole fined, suspended five games for throwing at Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Home plate umpire Jordan Baker ejects A.J. Cole #22 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.

Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.

Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.