Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:39 PM
When you get on a bicycle, first you place your left foot on the left pedal, hands on the handlebars, then you push off with your right foot. You glide forward as you swing your right leg over the back of the seat, and you're off.
Okay, now let's have a bicycle race. This is a very short-distance race, because all you get is that first, initial kick with your right foot, and then you have to keep your right leg raised behind you as you glide forward, bent over the handlebars.
Oh, and you have to stay within a lane that is one foot wide. If you veer off that narrow lane, you're disqualified.
The race stops sixty feet from the starting line. At that point you must brake the bike to a full stop, right leg still held up behind you, and you must hold the bike still for two full seconds. If you fall over before that, you're disqualified.
This is not an easy thing to do, but any kid could learn to do it with about twenty minutes of practice.
That initial kick is how a pitcher is supposed to provide power for his pitches. The balance required to stay exactly over the balance point of a bicycle is how a pitcher is able to develop control and consistency. Shove off hard, then stay on that line. Guys like Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan and Tim Lincecum do this consistently. It gives them great power and pinpoint control.
Francisco Liriano would be disqualified from the mini bicycle race. His whirling, pirouetting motion makes it impossible to stay balanced, and therefore he cannot develop consistent control. He finishes differently on every pitch, which frankly makes it amazing that he can ever throw a baseball where he wants to. Really, it's a tribute to Liriano's great athleticism that he is able to throw strikes at all. It's like spinning around five times fast, then sinking a free throw. Very difficult.
That's what's wrong with Francisco Liriano.