Pitching against his old team in his first start for his new one, Francisco Liriano allowed two runs in six innings and struck out eight as the White Sox beat the Twins 4-3 on Tuesday.
The game was tied 2-2 after the top of the seventh, so Liriano didn’t factor into the decision. The White Sox won it in the ninth after A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer. The Twins came back with one in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t enough.
Liriano struck out his old batterymate, Joe Mauer, twice on the night. White Sox manager Robin Ventura let him throw 113 pitches, his high total for the season. He’s thrown more pitches just three times in his career; 117 on June 23, 2009, 123 on May 2, 2010 and 123 on May 3, 2011 (his no-hitter against the White S0x).
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.