Blog Entry

'I can't believe what I'm seeing'

Posted on: July 28, 2009 10:38 pm
 
Most of the time, when it’s a record you’ve never heard of, it’s not a very important record.

Who remembered that Jim Barr once retired 42 consecutive batters? Who remembers that Bobby Jenks tied the record two summers ago?

Barr did it over two starts, 37 years ago, without ever throwing a no-hitter. Jenks did it over 14 relief appearances.

Really, it was one of baseball’s more obscure records. Really, it seemed more an oddity than a great accomplishment to be celebrated.

Today, it feels like it matters, because Mark Buehrle made it matter.

Today, Mark Buehrle owns a record that we might remember for a while, because of how he did it. His 45 straight outs included a perfect game last week against the Rays, and also a remarkable 5 2/3 perfect innings tonight against the Twins.

As Twins announcer Dick Bremer said, just seconds before Buehrle walked Alexi Casilla with two out in the sixth, “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”

I was thinking the exact same thing. If you were watching, I’ll bet you were, too.

“At least in the game with the Rays, they hit some line drives,” Bremer said.

No kidding.

This one was looking too easy. This time Buehrle didn’t need Dewayne Wise, because the Twins weren’t hitting any fly balls, let alone any fly balls headed over the fence.

This time, we were sending updates across the internet after every inning.

First inning, 31 consecutive batters. Second inning, 34. Third inning, 37.

Last Thursday’s game was one of those we’ll remember forever, but for most of us, we really didn’t start paying attention until the sixth or seventh inning.

Tonight, we were watching right from the start.

We couldn’t believe what we were seeing.

And you know what’s funny?

By the time the streak ended, by the time Mark Buehrle finally wasn’t perfect anymore, he had us so convinced that he was supposed to retire every batter he faced.

A walk? Alexi Casilla? You’ve got to be kidding.

And now a hit? It can’t be.

That’s fine. Mark Buehrle has his record.

Not only that, but he turned it into a record well worth having. Next time somebody asks which pitcher holds the record for most consecutive batters retired, we might even get the answer right.

Mark Buehrle.

Of course.

Comments

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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 6:10 pm
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Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2009 9:58 pm
 

'I can't believe what I'm seeing'

I hate the Whitesox, but foosball calls him average??? Huh, 131 wins and a career 3.78 E.R.A. is average? Intereesting definition.


Yes, a career 3.78 ERA is not worthy of an ACE.  It is slightly better than average, but not all-star or ACE material and certainly not within walking distance of the HOF. 

A solid pitcher.  Not arguing that. 

An ACE or HOF candidate?  LOL, maybe an ACE on my Reds (I could be the ace on their team) or the Nationals, but only in name or because he would be the first pitcher in the rotation.

An ACE to me is someone you would want to pitch game 1 of a playoff series and I can think of 30 pitchers or more today I would MUCH rather have going than Buerhle.  He might throw a shutout, but the other four games its 4 or 5 runs.  Not gonna win too many against good teams doing that, so that makes him not an ACE to ME anyway.

I guess others have a very loose criteria for ACE, as in half the SPs in the league qualify, and that would contain Buerhle, I agree.

About 1/3 of the teams in MLB don't even have an ACE, the White Sox included.  Just because they have a rotation, doesn't mean it has a pitcher worthy of being called an ACE.  #1 starter?  okay, but that doesn't mean ACE people, it just means that pitcher is the best of a small group of four or five.

Anyway, everyone questioning my reason for saying Beurhle is not an ACE, now you know why I feel that way.  He is SLIGHTLY above average, so I stand corrected, but not great, not even very good, just good/solid.  A career 3.75 ERA is solid and good, its not great unless you are the GM that signed Carlos "5.00 ERA" Silva to megabucks, then Buerhle looks like Cy Young reincarnate.  Any pitcher that is signed with an ERA over 5.00, should be grounds for immediate GM dismissal and a criminal investigation.  What are these GMs or Scouts thinking?


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