Up to this point, the Twins have been doing their very best to play their very worst and have been channeling the dispiriting pattern that other Minnesota sports teams have demonstrated lately. In other words, they've kinda sucked. Francisco Liriano did what a putative staff ace ought to do yesterday, pitching a no-hitter against the rival White Sox and making a 1-0 lead stand up.
Liriano has had a tough transition from his magical 2006 campaign, when he was an absolutely dominant pitcher who could throw 96 miles per hour fastballs and the most devastating slider in the baseball. You know the story: he hurt his arm, lost the better part of two seasons and has scuffled along for the most part since then. He's not the same guy any more, but he pitched out of trouble over and over yesterday. The Whities are having their own issues, but they have sluggers galore and they are the sort of team that can knock a pitcher out quickly. Liriano found a way to tame them.
Will yesterday's win mean the Twins are ready to turn the corner and get back to playing better baseball? I hope so, but remain skeptical. It's tough to win when you're running out guys like Matt Tolbert and Rene Tosoni. The only guy on the team who has really done much of anything this season is Jason Kubel, who should be, in a normal Twins lineup, about the 5th best option. It was Kubel's home run that provided the margin of victory last night.
At best, a work in progress. Still, congratulations to Liriano, who found a way to get it done.