The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 17, 2009

Command vs. control

David Pinto's Baseball Musings blog delivers a small lesson in the difference between what your eyes tell you from watching the game and what the stats tell you.

The key sentence is the second one: Francisco Liriano showed his great control, walking one while striking out five in six innings of work. In point of fact, Liriano was missing with his pitches all game and bounced his slider constantly. He threw 104 pitches in his six innings, and while the ball-strike ratio (39 balls, 65 strikes) wasn't awful, it's not quite as good as the Twins expect.

Dan Gladden on the radio said this was Liriano's best start to date (best of three), but I'm not sure he actually pitched better than he did on Opening Night. He give up only one run on Thursday and four on April 6, and the runs score column is obviously very important, but he had a better ball-strike ratio against Seattle (32 balls, 61 strikes) and got 12 ground outs, six fly outs — and on Thursday, he got just two ground ball outs, 10 fly ball outs.

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