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Recent Struggle Make Francisco Liriano's No Hitter Even More Impressive

By all accounts, Francisco Liriano was having a miserable season heading into his start on Tuesday. He was 1-4 with an ERA over nine, and had trouble recapturing some of the magic from his bounce back season a year ago. But on Tuesday night, he threw the first no-hitter of the 2011 season.

There are some out there who want to discount Liriano's no-hitter because of his struggles, and because it took him 123 pitches and he only struck out two batters. But a no-hitter is still a no-hitter, and Nando Di Fino of the Wall Street Journal argues that those issues that he faced made his feat even more impressive.

It wasn’t a total work of art. He walked six and struck out two. And yes, Liriano is having an awful year. He entered Tuesday with a 9.13 ERA. It now stands at 6.61. In his previous start, he lasted just three innings. There were rumors that he would be replaced in the rotation by Kevin Slowey. It was, by all accounts unexpected and a little magical,

When we look back on this no-hitter in a few years, no one will remember how many base-runners were on base and how many people Liriano struck out. We will just remember that he threw a no-hitter on Tuesday, and that's all that matters.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.