Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I'm not sure if I'm the first one to get to this particular headline, and I probably won't be the last, but I'm going to go for it anyway. In a season that has not provided many moments for Twins fans to cheer about, we finally have something to celebrate. Amidst one of the worst stretches of his career, Francisco Liriano turned an a very unlikely no-hitter against the White Sox on Tuesday night, marking the Twins' first no-hitter since Eric Milton in 1999. It certainly wasn't the prettiest no-hitter of all time, and the cynical part of me might want to point out that Liriano walked six batters while striking out only two. However, Liriano didn't come close to the most walks issued in a no-no (the Reds' Jim Maloney in 1965 walked 10, not to mention Edwin Jackson's 8 from last season) or the least amount of strikeouts (the Cubs' Ken Holtzman in 1971 didn't strike out anyone). Other Debbie downers might like to point out that the Twins were only able to scratch out one run, a solo shot by Jason Kubel in the 4th inning. But you know what? Screw that. For a team that's been playing some of the worst baseball I can remember a Twins team playing (and this includes the late-90s), I can't think of many things that would serve as more of a shot in the arm than a no-hitter against a hated division rival.
That said, I don't know if this will be some sort of turning point in the Twins' 2011 season. I don't know if Liriano will suddenly regain his 2010 form. There are still plenty of questions surrounding this team, and it's highly likely that we may see some significant changes coming in the next few months. All I know is that for right now, beating the White Sox while sending them momentarily to the cellar of the AL Central feels great, and beating them on the first no-hitter in 12 years feels even better. I was actually try to find a video of Hawk Harrelson dejectedly calling the final out with his typical complete lack of emotion for anything related to the opposing team, but it's obviously nowhere to be found (on the White Sox site at least). Regardless if this ends up having anything to do with this season's eventual outcome, I'm basking in the moment. Go Twins.