This post has a short shelf life since the one-game NL Wild Card Playoff has a first pitch of 7:07 p.m., but here it goes:

Francisco Liriano has been magnificent this season for the Pirates, himself a wild card that helped propel them not just to their first winning season since 1992 but back into the playoffs.

He went 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA, struck out more than one batter per inning and kept the walks, at least for him, to a minimum.

All that said, we have watched Liriano enough to know that nothing is guaranteed. There is no amount of recent history that would give us 100 percent confidence that he isn't going to have a 100 percent meltdown tonight -- body flying open, ball up in the zone, the works.

In his one and only postseason start with the Twins in 2010 -- the last season before this one in which "good" Liriano surfaced more often than "bad" Liriano -- he was cruising along with a 3-0 lead in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees before New York unloaded for four runs in the sixth.

The Twins ended up losing 6-4, were swept in three games, and are now in the midst of a downward spiral.

Which Liriano will we see tonight? And as a Twins fan which one are you hoping to see? Big questions, and we'll soon have answers.

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