On Monday, Francisco Liriano was named the National League Player of the Week after allowing just one earned run over two outstanding outings last week for the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
The lefthander went 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA last week, allowing one run over 14 innings. It was the lowest mark among major-league pitchers who made two starts. He surrendered only six hits in his two performances, holding opposing hitters to a .133 batting average.
Liriano’s name is not atop the NL pitching leaderboards this season, as he has not recorded enough innings to qualify. But, he has been among the best in baseball since making his 2013 debut on May 11 for the Bucs. He is tied for fourth among NL pitchers with 12 wins. Liriano has put together a 2.02 ERA, holding opposing batters to a .205 average this season.
The veteran southpaw is just the third Pirates pitcher since 1912 to win at least 12 games in his first 16 starts and post an ERA under 2.25 at the same time. The other two were Rip Sewell in 1943 (12-2, 2.22 ERA) and Dock Ellis in 1971 (12-3, 2.24).