Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A look at Francisco Liriano's No-Hitter

By Mike Moritz

In a post that I wrote back in March, I explained why I thought Francisco Liriano could do even better than his fantastic 2010 season. To be honest, I thought I was somewhat right. As we know now, Liriano's season has made me look like a complete and utter idiot. But if some baseball fan out there believed that was right and then also believed that "I got unlucky because no one could have guessed that Liriano would get off to such bad start" and then knew that my hypothesis would eventually come true, then I thank you for putting trust in me. But as much as I would love for someone to believe that in March, I would be right, I am sorry but you just should not keep your trust in me for Liriano.

Liriano's much heard of no-hitter last night made his season look so much better than it actually is. Honestly, there were so many things that Liriano was just bad at last night. Coming into his start, he's been disgustingly terrible, as we all know. A casual fan of baseball would say "Hey, Dad! Look, Fransico Liriablahblah threw a no-hitter!" and saber-metric nerds would say "Jesus, he got more BABIP'd than anybody could have ever gotten BABIP'd".

Well the Luck Dragons decided to give Liriano a break from being his terrible, 2011 version of himself.

There is NOBODY in the major leagues with a true talent level of .000 BABIP. ESPECIALLY the 2011 version of Liriano.

Ok, so a maybe "a no-hitter is a no-hitter" after all. But seriously? 6 walks and just 2 punch outs?

Those numbers brought his season K/BB ratio to .83, which is way below the 2.14 league average. He is now averaging just 5.51 K/9 and 6.61 BB/9. And this guy threw a no-hitter?

Liriano's O-Swing% dropped from 34.4% in 2010 to a mere 22.6% mark this year. Hitters are overall, being more patient, swinging at just 41.7% of Liriano's pitches, which is a career low. His opponent Contact% has reached a career high at 61.4%.

Looking at Liriano's pitch type values, his fastball is his only pitch that is negative, and since pitch type values do not take into consideration how much a player relies on one specific pitches, that is why his fastball value is only -.46 instead of lower.

Because of that, we can't use statistics to see exactly why hitters are laying off his pitches.

Rather, we use our eyes.

And we then come up with the conclusion that Liriano is a pitcher that relies on his fastball and works his other pitches off of the heater. But now that Liriano's fastball has lost 2 mph, hitters can tell much more easily whether to take it or swing. And they are keeping the bats on the shoulders to no end thus creating Liriano's walk rate that is higher than his what's-supposed-to-be-high strike out rate.

So basically this no-hitter says what kind of state the White Sox offense is in. And it probably contributed as much, if not more, to Liriano's no-hitter than Liriano's actual skill.

And the worst part? He's on my fantasy team...and I benched him.

(Statistics in courtesy of: fangraphs.com)

7.6 2011


  1. liriano didnt do that great last year...a 3.62 era with 14-10 record is good but its not even close to a fantastic seaso. his era was just barely top 20 and u cant say the other 15 or so pitchers had fantastic seasons also

  2. You could say that but you have to consider his peripherals: 2.66 FIP, 9.44 K/9, 2.72 BB/9 and 6 WAR to name a few. He just got hurt by a .331 BABIP

  3. 238794928239487, his ERA was inflated by a .331 BABIP.

    Looking at wins and losses is flat-out retarded. I wish I had a better way to put it.

    201:58 K:BB with just 4 HR given up.

    G3T @ M3.

  4. Liriano was objectively one of the best pitchers in the game last year.

    You put him on the Yankees and he wins 20 games and all of a sudden you dodes starting feeding him grapes while he's naked, having you guys lick his ball sack raw.

  5. Honestly, I could not have said it better myself

  6. i understand what you are sayinig, his perhipherals are great..but it doesnt matter if he has a .900 babip and a 1.29 fip if his era is barely top 20...wins and losses are thanks to the twins lack of offense but my point is it doesnt matter what perhiphreals someone has if they put out good stats

  7. i guess what im saying is he could have a 1.29 career fip and if he only puts out good and not great numbers like last year then he never will be known as an elite pitcher

  8. Your right in the sense that he won't be known by conventional baseball analysts (like guys from MLB network)as an elite pitcher but the reality is that he is (or was)because we have stats to prove it.