Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano has been named National League Player of the Week for the period ending August 4th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Liriano was a perfect 2-0 in two starts last week, tying for the Major League lead in wins while ranking among league leaders with 14.0 innings pitched (2nd) and 14 strikeouts (T-4th). The left-hander's 0.64 ERA (one earned run in 14.0 innings pitched) was the lowest among Major League pitchers who made two starts last week. Liriano scattered six hits across his two outings, holding opposing hitters to a .133 batting average in that span.
On Monday, making his 15th start of the season, Liriano dispatched a dangerous St. Louis Cardinals lineup,allowing four hits and one run over 7.0 innings of work to earn his 11th win of the season in a 9-2 victory. The 29-year-old fanned eight while walking just two. On Saturday, Liriano improved to 12-4 with a 2.02 ERA on the season after tossing 7.0 shutout innings, permitting just two hits, in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies at PNC Park. According to Elias, the performance put Liriano in a class of just three Bucs pitchers in the modern era to win 12-ormore games and post an ERA under 2.25 in his first 16 starts of a season, joining Rip Sewell in 1943 (12-2, 2.22 ERA) and Dock Ellis in 1971 (12-3, 2.24). The San Cristobal, Dominican Republic native is tied for fourth in wins among N.L. pitchers despite not making his 2013 debut until May 11th. He has held opposing hitters to a .205 batting average this season. This is his second weekly award, having won previously as a member of the Minnesota Twins for the week ending May 8, 2011 after throwing a no-hitter on May 3rd at Chicago (A.L.).
Other noteworthy performances last week included Liriano's Pittsburgh teammate A.J. Burnett (1-0, 1.13 ERA, 18 SO, 16.0 IP); Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (.375, 9 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .594 SLG, .444 OBP), Chris Johnson (.433, 13 H, HR, 8 RBI, .600 SLG, .485 OBP), Justin Upton (.387, 9 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, .774 SLG, .472 OBP), Alex Wood (2-0, 2.77 ERA, 10 SO, 13.0 IP) and Craig Kimbrel (0.00 ERA, 3 SV, 5 SO, 3.0 IP); Matt Holliday (.406, 13 H, 3 2B, 6 RBI, .457 OBP) of the Cardinals; and Kenley Jansen (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 SV, 10 SO, 4.0 IP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Francisco Liriano will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.