Minnesota Twins' Francisco Liriano Pitches MLB Season's First No-Hitter

By Eleanor Barkhorn

The Minnesota Twins' Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter last night against the Chicago White Sox, leading his team to a 1-0 victory. It was the 2011 season's first no-hitter, a sign that perhaps this year could see a reprise of the 2010 "Year of the Pitcher," which boasted 5 no-hitters and the lowest league-wide batting average in nearly two decades.

But, as the Wall Street Journal reports, some baseball fans aren't cheering Liriano's feat:

It was, by all accounts unexpected and a little magical, considering the Twins were mired in a six-game losing streak and in last place in the American League Central before the win. But reading analysis of the game would leave a fan thinking that Liriano, the 2010 Comeback Player of the Year, almost didn't deserve the accomplishment. "It wasn't pretty," Suzanne Solheim of the Star Tribune writes on Liriano's performance. "In fact, it was downright ugly."

"It's hard to overstate how embarrassing this is," James Fegan of the White Sox Observer writes on behalf of his team. "Liriano couldn't guess where his stuff was going most of the night." SB Nation's Rob Neyer dubbed it a "pseudo-masterpiece." His colleague, Jeff Sullivan, noted that the no-hitter had the lowest Bill James Game Score of any ever thrown. ESPN's Stats & Information group, while offering the delicious detail that Liriano is just the second player post-Tommy John surgery to throw a no-hitter, suggests that Chicago's Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton combined to throw the better game. Yahoo's Jeff Passan pointed out that Chicago's starting lineup entered the game with a batting average of .236, but still credited most of Liriano's accomplishment to luck. "It was one of the least dominant no-hitters in baseball history," Passan writes.

Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/05/minnesota-twins-francisco-liriano-pitches-mlb-seasons-first-no-hitter/238340/