First Pitch

First Pitch: More of This From Liriano and Fixing the Competitive Balance Lottery

First Pitch: More of This From Liriano and Fixing the Competitive Balance Lottery

The Pirates need the 2013 version of Francisco Liriano in the second half. Last time out he struggled in the first, but recovered and threw five innings with no earned runs, striking out eight in the process. Tonight against the Dodgers the results were much like the 2013 Liriano, with one run on four hits and two walks in seven innings, along with four strikeouts.

Liriano got off to a horrible start this year, and missed about a month with an injury. He has quietly been pitching better over his last six starts. In his last five outings prior to tonight, he had a 2.78 ERA. His 3.80 xFIP suggests he won't continue with those numbers if he keeps up what he was doing, and that was issuing a lot of walks, but limiting the hits and striking out a lot of guys. The version we've seen the last two starts can not only put up strong numbers, but would also have the advanced metrics to back up those numbers.

We're a week away from the trade deadline, and the Pirates will be looking at start...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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