Primarily using a slider and mid-90s fastball, the 29-year-old Liriano (16-8, 3.02 ERA) yielded only one run and four hits over seven innings against a solid Reds lineup.
Signing a two-year deal worth $12.75 million last February, Liriano whiffed 163 batters in 161.0 innings as a Pirate and is clearly enjoying a mid-career renaissance.
Roughly four months after earning a spot in the 2006 All-Star Game as a Minnesota Twin, Liriano required Tommy John surgery to fix his left elbow.
The electric southpaw missed the entire 2007 campaign and was subsequently a middling hurler for a couple of years.
However, Liriano rebounded and won the 2010 AL Comeback Player of the Year award.
With improved mechanics and incredible command, Liriano is now arguably more dominant than ever.
The 6-foot-2, 220 pound Dominican is tentatively slated to take the hill Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals in Pittsburgh.
Power arms thrive in the playoffs and Liriano is one of numerous flamethrowers employed by the “Bucs.”
A strikeout artist with four pitches, don’t be shocked if Francisco Liriano helps will the Pittsburgh Pirates to their sixth World Series title this October.by