Curse de Liriano has been broken.
Fransisco Liriano, the 2013 NL Comeback Player of the Year, sported a 3-0 record with a 0.75 ERA and 20 strikeouts against the Cardinals last season.
He last faced the Cardinals on October 6th 2013 in game 3 of the NLDS where he held the Birds to 2 runs while the Pirates got the win a 2-1 series lead. It’s easy to forget now, but the Cards were in a deep hole in that NLDS – Liriano was a the fulcrum of confidence for a surging Bucs team.
2014 is a different story. Saturday night the Cardinals tagged Liriano and the Pirates for 6 runs (4 ER against the starter) and pushed their record over .500 to 3-2 with the rubber match set for Sunday.
5 Cardinals tallied RBIs while Joe Kelly labored through 5.1 innings, but was able to get out of jams. A solid road win. A chance to take 2 road series to start the season.
Other items of note?
Peter Bourjos still has 0 hits. The Cardinals have played 8.1% of their games. He’ll be the starting center fielder for the home opener on Monday. After that, you might just be seeing more Jon Jay than you expected in April.
Then again, Jon Jay was wearing a ski mask in left field when he replaced Matt Holliday late in game. It was 42 degrees when the game ended.
Jhonny Peralta doesn’t hit anything but 2 run home runs. Right down the LF line.
And we were worried about Matt Adams? Big Mayo is at .389 with 2 more hits Saturday. The power numbers will come. But this is an encouraging start to the season.
Mike Matheny is having a hard time keeping Carlos Martinez off the mound. He’ll eventually settle into that 8th inning role, but with an unsettled bullpen, he’s using CMart early and often in 2014.
Photo: Gene J.Puskar, AP