Hang with ’em? Yeah, Liriano one of best at that

There is a growing movement to eliminate — or, more realistically, at least de-emphasize — wins for starting pitchers.

Francisco Liriano probably does not have a problem with that suggestion. He doesn’t get wins, anyway.

In his effort Sunday against the Reds, Liriano protected his place in a wretched lineup: Pitchers with more than 20 starts in a season, an ERA lower than 4.00 — and no more than three victories.

Mind you, Liriano is one of only 11 such misbegotten hurlers in the history of the game. In a way, however, he could be the biggest victim of them all: He is the only one to have met his fate on a winning, contending team. Sometimes, it’s just an everyday-lousy team and nothing goes right — as opposed to the fates picking on you.

Check out this chronological list (Name – # of wins/starts; team and record):

  • Joe Harris – 2/24; 1906 Red Sox 49-105
  • Hal Brown – 3/21; 1964 Colt 45s 61-88
  • Mike Kekich – 2/20; 1968 Dodgers 76-86
  • Jerry Koosman – 3/32; 1978 Mets 66-96
  • John Montefusco – 3/22; 1979 Giants 61-79
  • Ross Baumgarten – 2/23; 1980 White So 70-90
  • John Dopson – 3/26; 1988 Expos 81-81
  • Eric Hillman – 2/22; 1993 Mets 59-103
  • Dustin Moseley – 3/20; 2011 Padres 71-91
  • Jacob Turner – 3/20; 2013 Marlins 62-100
  • FRANCISCO LIRIANO – 3/24; 2014 PIRATES 71-65
And, lest you think that most of Frankie’s misses came on his off days, consider that he has either gone seven innings on a yield of no more than three runs or six while allowing no more than two a total of 10 times — and picked up wins in two of them.
Actually, bad luck may have less to do with it than manager Clint Hurdle’s characteristic way of handling his starters and relievers. It works on a team basis, but starters often leave games they could win with a little longer mound tenure.
Why do I say that? In today’s Majors, of the 109 pitchers who have made 20-plus starts and have an ERA below 4.00, there are only two who have fewer than six wins, and they’re both in the Bucs’ clubhouse: Liriano, and Charlie Morton.

 

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