What's the asterisk you may ask?
No, it's not steroids, which is unfortunately where every baseball fan's head goes when they hear asterisk in this modern day steroid era on the diamond.
The asterisk is a statistic, because as you may have guessed, Francisco Liriano is not the best pitcher in the history of baseball overall.
In 2013, however, the former Twins lefty is limiting left handed batters to an incredible .336 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), the best mark for a left handed pitcher vs. left handed batters for a season in the history of the game.
Against Liriano's slider this year, lefties are hitting .068, and swing and miss at what may be the most devastating pitch in the game right now, an outrageous 47% of the time.
Want more concrete, old school stats? He is tied for the NL lead in wins with 15, his 2.57 ERA is fourth in all of baseball of pitchers with at least 130 innings pitched, and half of his last 10 starts he's gone 7+ innings and allowed zero runs.
He likely is second in the NL Cy Young running to Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, and had he not missed the first month-plus of the season recovering from a broken arm, he could be entrenched in the conversation for the award, rather than Kershaw running away with it.
That's right, he's putting up these stats having missed what would be the equivalent of 5-7 starts.
Do you feel like you just got punched in the stomach? You're not alone.