Tagged: Buehrle

July 28th Postgame – Buehrle Sets Record, But Sox Lose Game

The Sox lost another game in Minnesota tonight.

You don’t have a pulse if you didn’t have a nervous feeling while following this game. Buehrle lit up the sports world again as he brought a perfect game into the 6th inning, one start after making history against Tampa Bay. Mark still made history by breaking the major league record for consecutive batters retired when setting a new record at 45 (a streak that was snapped in the 6th after giving up a walk. The walk happened on a full count, and I thought Casilla swung at strike three, but the home plate umpire said he checked his swing). The previous record was held by a couple players, including teammate Bobby Jenks.

After the nostalgia was gone, the Twins went to work. Actually, I should say “the team that possesses the White Sox whenever they play in Minnesota” went to work. Bad defense killed the Sox again and lead to runs for Minnesota. Scott Podsednik had a terrible effort on a ball to LF which led to a run for Minnesota (a play that was clearly an error, but called a hit), and the next inning, Chris Getz darts to second base for no reason with a runner on first right before a ball shoots through the spot that Getz had just left. Quentin is likely to make Podsednik’s play. Maybe it would’ve helped the Sox if they were nostalgic and went with the same lineup used in Buehrle’s last game (Thome also sat, Quentin was in LF, and Fields at DH). Podsednik is an average defender and the constant shifting of positions seems to be exploiting him. Meanwhile, the Twins did their usual act of hitting balls that fall in at the perfect moment and showing good defense. 
The Sox offense did nothing against Scott Baker. The offense is starting to look lost when the top of the order doesn’t get on base. When that doesn’t happen, the team relies on home runs, which doesn’t work well in Minnesota.
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Mark Buehrle, White Sox legend

You can’t say enough about the things Mark Buehrle has done for this franchise. 

On The Field

– Career record: 132-90
– Since 2001, he has pitched more than 200 innings and won at least 10 games every year
– 4 All-Star game selections (1 start)
– Started Game 2 of the 2005 World Series (which the Sox won) and got the save in the wild Game 3 which went 14 innings  
– 2007 no-hitter against Texas (one walk to Sosa was the only blemish. Sosa was then picked off and Buehrle still faced the minimum) 
– Hit his first career home run this year in Milwaukee
– And now, a PERFECT GAME
Mark Buehrle’s style is something that makes this accomplishment even more special. For years, baseball “analysts” speculated he would never pitch a no-hitter. They would give him the benefit of the doubt for being a great pitcher, but said he’d never do it since his stuff is not overpowering and he’s a guy who relies on things like location and his defense. Never say never because Mark has made all those people look foolish. 
Mark is also a great defender and says one of his goals is to win the Gold Glove. Besides that, 20 wins (he had 19 in 2002) and the Cy Young, there isn’t much left for Mark to achieve. That’s saying a lot for a guy who really flies under the radar considering what he has accomplished. 
Off the Field

The best part of Buehrle’s success is that he’s a great guy. He has fun with the game and appreciates the fans. He is as close as an athlete can get to being a regular guy. He is very modest and humble. From spending times with the fans to sliding on the tarp during rain delays, Mark is one of the good guys in this game. Just like in his 2007 no-hitter, Buehrle spent most of the game talking to his teammates in the dugout, jokingly asking them “did you know I’ve got a no-hitter going on?”. His teammates love him for his personality, but also appreciate his traits on the field. The defense must love playing behind one of the quickest workers in baseball. Mark appreciates the White Sox and showed his loyalty by taking a favorable deal a couple years ago. He could’ve been traded at the time, gone on to make a lot more money, and pitched for teams like Boston (who were rumored to be the favorites to land Buehrle in a possible trade), but he took less and accepted an extension in Chicago.
Game Tidbits
There have been a lot of fun facts coming out from the game today. 
– The Sox offense today? 5 runs on 6 hits. That 5-6-0 looks just as special as the Rays’ line on the box score (A great job by Josh Fields today to take advantage of his start)
– The umpire, Eric Cooper, also called Buehrle’s last no-hitter. The real ironic part? Cooper’s number is 56, the same as Buehrle.
– Dewayne Wise, who had the amazing game saving catch, was a member of the 2004 Atlanta Braves. That is the team that Randy Johnson threw a perfect game against. I can’t say enough about Wise (and by the way, Wise robbed Gabe Kapler. Last year Chris Young had a perfect game in the 8th inning until Kapler hit a home run). I have given him and the Sox a beating regarding their decision to keep Wise on the major league team, but I will gladly eat crow today. Does history change if Wise was sent down this week when Quentin came back? The ground that Wise covered, the timing, holding on to the bobble, the circumstances…WHAT A CATCH
– The fact that it was done against the Tampa Bay Rays makes it even more impressive. The defending A.L. champs currently have the 3rd best batting average and 2nd best on-base percentage in the A.L.
– 1st place! This win put the Sox in a tie for first place with the Detroit Tigers. The Sox now go to Detroit for a huge 4 game series, including a double-header tomorrow. 
And I will finish this post with a cool little story Mark told after the game. Mark and A.J. Pierzynski have a running joke about personal catchers whenever someone else catches Buehrle. Today it was Ramon Castro (who actually caught Buehrle for the first time ever. Castro was acquired from the Mets this year. I guess there’s another fun little connection, since the Mets have never had a no-hitter in their history). Before the game, Mark and A.J. were joking with each other about it, and had a conversation that went something like this:
A.J: Come on, you never go deep into games anymore, you’ve got your own catcher, throw a complete game
Mark: I don’t know, I think I’ve past the point where I can finish my own game (something the Sox post-game crew joked with Buehrle about on July 2nd in KC. Buehrle pitched into the 9th but had to be pulled for Jenks to close the game)
A.J: Come on…just go out there and throw a no-hitter
Mark: But I’ve already got one of those
A.J: Alright, then throw a perfect game…
CONGRATULATIONS MARK BUEHRLE

July 23rd Pregame – Sox face Rays this afternoon in series finale

Very quickly, the lineup (Scott Reifert Twitter update http://twitter.com/InsideTheSox/status/2801850600 ) :

Podsednik – LF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Konerko – DH
Quentin – LF
Beckham – 3B
Nix – 2B
Castro – C
Fields – 1B
Buehrle – SP
A bit of a diluted lineup today. Thome gets the day off and Fields seems to be getting a little more of a chance lately. Piezynski gets the day off after the night game, which was expected. It’s good to see Quentin in the lineup today. He had a nice sliding catch last night, and it’s good to see that an ailment is not keeping him out of the lineup. Other than Podsednik, every hitter is right handed, which feeds into Guillen’s matchup obssesion (even though, again, the opposing pitcher, a lefty, gives up hits at a higher rate against lefties). 
Today the Sox face Scott Kazmir who is having a rough season (and battling injuries), though he has been much better on the road this year. He is coming off a good outing in KC. Tampa Bay also has its second highest winning percentage when Kazmir starts games.
So, we end this great series with a rematch of Game 2 of the 08 ALDS, let’s hope for a different result!

July 12th postgame, White Sox get thumped, lose rubber game

Buehrle was the most disappointing aspect of today’s game. The offense did not look great early (making quick outs against a guy like Baker with a big deficit), but they did wake up later in the game. In the end, the deficit became too big and the Sox lose the series. At the start of this series I said that anyone in their lineup could beat the Sox, and sure enough, Carlos Gomez kills Sox pitching again, which is a shame since he’s gotten benched for his poor offense this season. 

Beckham had another miscue at 3rd today. I have to wonder if it’s time to end the experiment and move the kid to his natural position. Ramirez has not looked great at SS either, but he dazzled at 2B last year. The problem is that Getz would be the odd man out (who is having a great July and helps the Sox in the youth and speed department). The Sox really shot themselves in the foot by putting their money on Fields and having no else to go to at 3B. Unless Nix can play there, you might have to consider giving Fields another chance. He did look good very early in the season, with a good approach at the plate (and also providing youth and speed, similar to Getz), but that all disappeared fast. But let’s remember, he is a young player, and if he was given the job, he should have probably had more time to prove himself. 
Luckily, Beckham seems to be unfazed by the issues, coming up strong at the plate and on plays later in the game whenever he makes an error. However, it still makes me wonder if the Sox are mishandling another prospect. Beckham was a very good shortstop and has all the makings to be a star. The transition to the big leagues is very hard and we are making the kid learn a new position on top of that. Since expectations are so high for Beckham, I’d rather not mess with the kid at all.
We all know the Sox aren’t perfect in that regard. Examples:
– Bringing up prospects too early because of the 5th starter hole years ago. The likes of Munoz and co. were billed to be decent pitchers, but never recovered after being brought up to have big leaguers hammer their stuff (Fixing the 5th starter fiasco, by the way, is one of the big reasons I credit the Sox finally putting it all together in 2005. Even if you put an average pitcher in that spot, you still help the bullpen, don’t have an automatic loss, etc. I think Javier Vazquez would have been incredible in that role this year.)
– Never really giving Brian Anderson the reins to start in CF. Since Rowand left, Anderson has been forced to platoon with Rob Mackowiak, Darin Erstad, and now Dewayne Wise.
– And even more recently, how about Aaron Poreda? He is taken away from starting regularly in the minors, is used very sparingly, then is told he can’t start because he has to be stretched out. 
I have to wonder if Josh Fields will just be another name on the list…and I really hope the Sox don’t make similar mistakes with Beckham