No contender wants to play in the best-of-one wild-card game. Winning the division is extremely important. But if the Pirates find themselves in a wild-card status, and there's a good chance they will, Francisco Liriano is a good man to have on the mound.
By Scott Miller, CBSSports.com
SAN DIEGO -- He's been an All-Star, thrown a no-hitter and learned at the feet of the great master, Johan Santana, during Santana's 2006 Cy Young season.
But never has Francisco Liriano been this money over an entire season.
In equaling a career-high with his 14th victory with Monday night's 3-1 win over the Padres, Liriano lowered his ERA to 2.53, fifth in the NL.
And maybe most impressively as the Pirates charge toward what they hope will be their first division title since 1992, there's this: In his past four outings following a Pirates' loss, Liriano now has thrown a combined 30 innings while allowing only two runs.