Francisco Liriano held the Cubs to two runs on four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts over a nine-inning complete game. The lefty lowered his ERA to 2.20 in his 11th start of the season as he continues to top the list of baseball’s best off-season bargains.
Liriano started off the bottom of the ninth on a good note, making a great snag on a sharp grounder hit right back up the middle by Dioner Navarro. Liriano, falling towards third base perpendicular to the plate, stuck his glove between his legs. He hesitated for a moment, perhaps in shock that the ball found leather, before firing a strike to first baseman Gaby Sanchez with Navarro no more than 40 feet up the first base line.
Watch the play:
Everyone knows that Giancarlo Stanton is now a New York Yankee. Everyone knows the Marlins traded him to New York. Most people also know that, before that trade happened, the Cardinals and Giants had deals in place for Stanton that he rejected via his no-trade clause. Now, for the first time, we get some real flavor of how all of that went down from Stanton’s perspective, courtesy of this profile of Stanton’s eventful offseason from Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated.
The best part of it comes when Derek Jeter and Marlins president Michael Hill had a sit down with Stanton while the Giants and Cardinals offers were pending. In that meeting, Reiter reports, Stanton was told in no uncertain terms that he’d either accept one of those deals or else he’d be stuck in Miami while the roster was dismantled. Stanton responded thusly:
“This is not going to go how you guys think it will go,” Stanton said. “I’m not going to be forced somewhere, on a deadline, just because it’s convenient for you guys. I’ve put up with enough here. Derek, I know you don’t fully understand where I’m coming from. But Mike does. He’s been here. He can fill you in. This may not go exactly how I planned. But it’s definitely not going to go how you have planned.”
Even adjusting for the likelihood that it wasn’t put quite as smoothly as that in real time as it was in Stanton’s recollection of it to Reiter, it’s still pretty badass. Stanton had the power in that situation and he did not blink when the club threatened to call his bluff. In the end, he got what he wanted.
Beyond that, it’s a good profile of Stanton as he’s about to begin his Yankees career. Definitely worth your time.