Game number thirty five game pits two young pitchers who not too long ago were absolutely untouchable within their respective organizations. In 2006, Francisco Liriano burst on the scene, pitching 121 innings to a 2.16 ERA and striking out 144 with a WHIP of exactly 1.000. He was seen as the heir apparent to Johan Santana's throne in Minnesota, but was sidelined with Tommy John surgery, missed the entire 2007 season and only pitched 76 innings in 2008.
He started off this year with four consecutive losses, and was sporting an ERA of 7.06. Two of his last three starts have been solid and he's managed to drop that number down to 5.75. Although he's yet to find stride this year, he's got the potential to be dominant as he showed by striking out 9 in 7 1/3 innings against the Tigers on May 4th.
When Liriano was setting the MLB on fire in 2006, Phil Hughes was still in the minors, but considered the best pitching prospect in the Yankees system and near the very top in all of baseball. Coincidentally, Hughes' best outing this year came against Edwin Jackson and the Tigers as well, just one turn in the rotation before Liriano's.
Hughes has had neither the sustained major league dominance nor severity of injuries that Liriano has, but tonight they find themselves in the same place.
I'll be up at the Stadium this evening, either picture posting from my iPhone or Twittericizing. It's Friday, so chances are at some point I'm going to Stop Making Sense.
Home - is where I want to be,
But I guess I'm already there,
I come home - she lifted up her wings,
Guess that this must be the place,
I can't tell one from another,
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time Before we were born,
If someone asks, this is where I'll be.