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Daily Notes: A Brief Review of Francisco Liriano’s First Start

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Brief Review: Francisco Liriano’s First Start
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Brief Review: Francisco Liriano’s First Start
Introduction
Talented and also mercurial left-hander Francisco Liriano made his major-league season debut yesterday (Saturday) against the Mets in New York. What follows is a very brief review of same.

Liriano’s Results
Liriano had one of Saturday’s best starts in the league, posting the second-best single-game xFIP (1.58) among the day’s 30 starters and also third-highest single-game WAR (0.3). Here’s his complete line: 5.1 IP, 24 TBF, 9 K, 2 BB, 4 GB on 12 batted-balls (33.3%), .462 BABIP.

Liriano’s Pitches
As the PITCHf/x chart below (featuring pitch speed and horizontal movement) mostly reveals, Liriano threw his usual complement of pitches: a combination of four-seam and sinking fastballs, slider, and changeup.

Liriano Chart

Liriano’s Fastball(s)
According both to the PITCHf/x data here at the site and also to that available at Brooks Baseball, Liriano threw either his four-seam or sinking fastball just about 40 times — approximately 45% of his 90 total pitches. He sat at about 92-94 mph, losing some velocity as his pitch count grew. By way of reference, that fastball velocity is almost identical to what he was featuring last season, about 2 mph faster than in his miserable 2011, and about 1 mph slower than his brilliant 2010 season.

Liriano’s Slider
Lirano threw his slider, historically his best pitch, about a third of the time — approximately the rate at which he’s thrown it in the past. According to Brooks, he induced eight whiffs on 31 thrown (ca. 26%). Typically, he’s had about swinging-strike rate of 20-22% on the pitch.

Here’s footage of Liriano striking out Ruben Tejada on the slider in the first inning of Saturday’s game:

Liriano Slider Tejada

Liriano’s Changeup
Liriano threw his changeup 20% of the time, inducing eight whiffs on 18 total thrown — for a whiff rate of ca. 45%, according to Brooks. Liriano has typically posted swinging-strike rates of 15-20% on his changeup.

Here’s an example of Liriano’s changeup from the second inning, to strike out John Buck. Liriano gets the swinging strike here almost entirely based on the change in speeds, as the location is rather poor.

Liriano Changeup Buck

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Atlanta at San Francisco | 16:05 ET
Thing to note: Kris Medlen (44.1 IP, 109 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR) faces Tim Lincecum (41.2 IP, 84 xFIP-, 0.3 WAR). Other thing to note: the Atlanta Braves are second (or were as of Friday, at least) in adjusted home-run rate as a team.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco Radio or Television.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.3.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Zach McAllister CLE 5 10 7 7 7 DET Rick Porcello 13:08
Wily Peralta MIL 5 7 5 4 4 CIN Bronson Arroyo 13:10
Jeanmar Gomez* PIT 4 7 7 7 10 NYN Matt Harvey 13:10
Scott Feldman CHN 2 5 4 3 7 WAS Gio Gonzalez 13:35
Chad Jenkins* TOR 3 4 6 10 7 BOS Ryan Dempster 13:35
Eric Stults SD 4 4 6 8 7 TB Rob. Hernandez 13:40
Wei-Yin Chen BAL 2 7 4 4 5 MIN Scott Diamond 14:10
Hiroki Kuroda NYA 4 5 6 6 7 KC Ervin Santana 14:10
Nick Tepesch TEX 6 4 6 5 8 HOU Jordan Lyles* 14:10
Jorge de la Rosa COL 3 7 4 1 6 STL Jaime Garcia 14:15
Kris Medlen ATL 5 9 6 5 7 SF Tim Lincecum 16:05
Tom Koehler* MIA 6 0 4 2 5 LAN Chris Capuano* 16:10
Tommy Milone OAK 6 6 4 4 0 SEA Joe Saunders 16:10
Kyle Kendrick PHI 5 1 5 5 6 AZ Bran. McCarthy 16:10
C.J. Wilson LAA 4 4 5 0 8 CHA Chris Sale 20:05

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.