Francisco Liriano didn't pitch badly. He allowed a run in the first (while striking out the side) and in the second and once again in the sixth, but three runs over six innings against the Yankees should probably be about the best anyone could hope for. Once again the Yankees were able to shoot balls down the line or into the gaps, and Liriano gets the loss as a result.
Liriano made New York beat him. He allowed nine hits but didn't walk anyone, and he struck out seven. Once again he showed the mental toughness that's been part of his game this season, buckling down with runners on base and fighting through at-bats where he couldn't seem to find the plate. His seven outs on the ground continue to be a good sign.
Andy Pettitte pretty much rocked the afternoon. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span and many others cracked line drives or dying flyies, but one after the other found gloves. A good catch by Brett Gardner here, a great catch by Nick Swisher there and Robinson Cano snagging smashes without having to move...I'm pretty sure the Twins single-handedly reduced the league average on BABIP off line drives to about .550.
The Twins had their chances. Jim Thome failed with two on and two out in the seventh, and in the eighth managed three singles in between some ill-timed ground outs. A couple of double plays killed potential rallies. And after Span and Orlando Hudson drew back-to-back two out walks in the sixth, Mauer worked a 3-0 count before taking a strike and then taking a chance...and flying out to the warning track in center field.
It was another hard game to watch, if only because it seemed like another typical Twins-Yankees matchup. At least in this one, the Twins didn't have a late lead taken away. Hopefully the Twins can shake out of their New York shakes Sunday, and if a bounce or two could go their way that wouldn't hurt either.