Friday, April 29, 2011

Francisco Liriano may only have one more chance (start) to keep spot in rotation

Things haven't gone well for Twins starter Francisco Liriano (and his fantasy owners) this year.

And depending on how his next scheduled start on Tuesday goes, it could get worse, much worse.

"There's times when he looks totally dominant and he'll go an inning or two like that, but then he just kind of starts misfiring, and I think once we get ahead he just kind of backs away a little bit. So, if it's a confidence thing, then we've got to really work hard to get it there, but if not, we're going to have to make a decision and see where we go from there," manager Ron Gardenhire said, per Tom Pelissero of

"That's kind of why we're working on [Kevin] Slowey, getting him stretched out, in case we decide after this next start whether we're going to do something or not."

Slowey, who eligible to return from the disabled list, will make one more rehab start to help get him ready to take over Liriano's spot in the rotation, if necessary.

In his five starts, Liriano is 1-4 with an ERA of 9.13 and 18 walks in 23 2/3 innings pitched.

Derek Lowe arrested Thursday night for DUI

At roughly 10 p.m. last night, Braves starting pitcher Derek Lowe was arrested for driving under the influence.

In addition to the DUI charge, Lowe was charged with reckless driving and making an improper lane change.

"Obviously we are concerned and disappointed about the events involving Derek Lowe overnight," the Braves said in a statement (via's Mark Bowman). "We are currently gathering information and plan to address this matter later today."

Lowe, who is scheduled to start on Sunday, has a 2-3 record with an ERA of 3.21 and 32 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings pitched. With the exception of his April 20th start, Lowe has allowed two or fewer runs in all of his games so far this season.

Seven straight multi-hit games for Lance Berkman

Of course, Lance Berkman does not have a realistic shot at the triple crown.

But heading into the last two days of April, Berkman is second in the National League in all three triple-crown categories: batting average (.410), home runs (eight) and runs batted in (22).

Berkman trails teammate Matt Holliday in batting average (.433) and Brewers Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in home runs (nine) and runs batted in (23), respectively.

In last night's game, Berkman had four hits, two of which were home runs, and five runs batted in. That extended his streak of multi-hit games to seven consecutive games.

During that seven-game span, Berkman is hitting .607 (17 for 28).