Sometimes, the difference is one moment - or in the case of the game between the Twins and White Sox last night, Jason Kubel hitting a solo home run in the 4th inning off of Edwin Jackson. Jackson had a really good game... 6 hits, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. Francisco Liriano had a better game. He also had 2 strikeouts, but he went 9 straight zeroes on runs and hits. While he let up a base on balls for every hit that Edwin Jackson had, he still gets the no no and the win while Jackson takes the loss.
In the end, it's the first of the year, and so we continue the decade of the pitcher (even if the Angels dynamic duo just got beaten up on by the Red Sox - the only team that they can tame; well, really, they own the Angels).
And on this rainy Wednesday morning, Liriano is now 2-4 with a 6.61 ERA. His ERA prior to this game was 9.13. His ERA hasn't been better than 7.40 ALL SEASON! In fact, he was so bad, I got rid of him from my fantasy team after 2 games. Sure, last year, he was great again (I turned down a trade to ship him out), something we talked about on this site already, but last year is last year.
At one point, the Yankees drooled over him and thought about getting him. As Phil Hughes turned into mystery arm problem man (0-1, 13.94, and 3Ks in 3 games), things looked really problematic in da Bronx. Then, Bartolo Colon came along and made everything better (2-1, 3.00, and 38 whiffs), which means that he is having a year that made fans remember his Cy Young year (2005). So whether or not the Yankees want him with CC putting 14 batters on base in 7 innings and blowing the game last night to the Tigers remains to be seen, but as long as Ivan Nova isn't great, it's a possibility - unless Freddy Garcia continues to think it's the first half of the decade as well.
Nevertheless, when a player has one good game in a year (albeit a great game), it tends to make all the things that haven't gone well (or at least close to expected) better and leave a permanent highlight as it will be forever immortalized in Cooperstown. That said, it might not be enough to keep a career going (see Len Barker), but yeah... there is upside to being traded or signed to a team that is investing in long since dead players (see Mark Prior) AND that means that said players can end up in the playoffs deep into October (as opposed to getting bounced in the first round because your reliever (uh, former closer) sucks to begin with (and more so after the injury).
So here's to the moment of greatness. Now, let's carry it through to resurrect the rest of the Twins season.