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Entries in Minnesota Twins (25)


Francisco Liriano's No Hitter

A quick glance at Francisco Liriano's (Minnesota Twins) pitch location heat map from his no-hitter versus the Chicago White Sox. Click here to view the complete no hitter pitch log.


What's Wrong with Liriano?

Francisco Liriano (MIN) turned in a stellar 2010 season, but through five starts in 2011 his ERA stands at 9.13.  His control is poor and he allowed nearly half his 2010 home run total.  The most glaring difference between 2010 and 2011 for Liriano is a drop of velocity on his fastball:

Francisco Liriano, fastball graph, 2010-2011.His velocity dropped about 1.5 MPH from 2010, down to 92 MPH on average.  While batters made contact with his fastball often last season, that is up too as the slower pitch is easier to hit.  Despite the drop, his opposition batting average isn't that much worse, it's the power and walks that are getting to him:


Vs. Fastballs20102011
Batting average .323 .320
OBP .388 .435
Slugging average .462 .520
wOBA .369 .415


There is a secondary effect as well.  Liriano's change up stayed at about 85 MPH, meaning it looks less different than his fastball this season.  The opposition can hit that pitch better as well.


Vs. Change Ups20102011
Batting average .241 .294
OBP .252 .333
Slugging average .340 .588
wOBA .256 .385


The change was a great out pitch for Francisco, and now batters are waiting to power it out of the park.


Jason Kubel's Improvement

Jason Kubel (MIN) collected two more hits Sunday afternoon to raise his batting average to .347 after hitting .249 in 2010, an off year for him.  In 2010 pitchers tried to work him away and down as much as possible:

Jason Kubel pitch frequency, 2010.That was the right thing to do, as Jason hit for a high average on pitches in the middle of the plate:

Jason Kubel, in play average, 2010.So far in 2011, pitchers are working to Jason's strength:

Jason Kubel pitch frequency, 2011.With all those pitches in his wheel house, Jason keeps collecting hits.

Jason Kubel, in play average, 2011.Jason is pretty locked in as even when pitchers go down and away, he's making solid contact.  With Joe Mauer (MIN) and Justin Morneau (MIN) off to slow starts due to injury, Kubel picked a perfect time to lead the team in offense.