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.


Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 1:59 pm

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

But let's take a closer look at Verlander... 11-17 with a 4.84 ERA last year isn't gonna get it done.. He's 57-39 with a 3.93 in his career (.594 winning percentage.) Buehrle is 133-91 with a 3.78 ERA (also a .594 winning percentage) Yeah... the numbers really set Verlander apart, don't they?

What about Sabathia? Career 127-80 with a 3.67 ERA. Slightly better than Buehrle, but not by a significant amount. Certainly not enough to put him in a different class. And when you consider that in eight and a half seasons, he only has 3 years with 200 plus innings (vs. 8 in nine and a half seasons for Buehrle,) it's really a toss up between the two.

And what exactly has King Felix proven thus far? 50-40 with a career 3.61, one season of 200 plus IP? Worse winning percentage, slightly better ERA and less durability. He's having his best season this year, and they sit at an identical 11-4. King Felix might have a world of potential and more exciting pitches, but at the end of the day all that matters is the results.

Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 1:57 pm

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

One and half games does not change the fact Beurhle is just a little bit better than average. 

ERA+     &

d></thead>RankPlayer (age)Adjusted ERA+Throws
1. (39)200R
2. (37)154R
3. (41)146R
4. (30)144L
5. (30)142R
6. (31)137R
7. (45)136L
8. (32)133R
9. (28)128R
10. (33)126R
12. (28)125R
13. (30)123L

14. (36)120R
16. (28)119R
17. (29)118R
19. (32)117R
20. (30)116R 
24. (31)114L
25. (33)113R 
27. (32)112R
29. (30)111R 
31.  (30)110L 
34. (36)108L 
37. (34)107R 
 (39)107L39. (33)106L  (36)106R  (34)106R  (31)106L  (33)106R  (32)106R45. (32)105R  (31)105R  (33)105L  (46)105L  (31)105R50. (38)104R

<thead></thead>RankPlayer (age)Adjusted ERA+Throws 
 (29)104R  (27)104L53. (36)103R  (35)103R  (39)103R56. (30)102R  (31)102R  (32)102L59. (37)101R  (36)101R61. (38)100R  (34)100R  (31)100R64. (38)99R  (30)99R  (28)99R  (38)99L  (34)99R  (38)99R70. (30)98R  (37)98R  (30)98R73. (34)97R  (30)97R  (36)97R  (33)97R77. (34)96R  (32)96R  (39)96L80. (35)95R  (32)95L82. (33)94R  (33)94L  (37)94R  (32)94R  (34)94R87. (27)93L  (35)93L  (30)93R  (32)93R91. (36)92R92. (36)90L  (35)90L  (32)90R  (31)90L96. (32)89R  (35)89R98. (33)87R  (34)87L100. (31)84R

He must be doing something right.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 1:46 pm

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

Verlander is about to pitch 200 or more for I believe his 3rd straight year. That's durability at its best... that's all I"m saying
Alright bud, when he does it 8 years in a row, wins double digit games in all of those years, and posts a sub 4.00 era in 6 of them, (not even counting this one) you let us know..

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 29, 2009 12:11 pm

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

Bland,,, why did you call me an idiot?  Let me guess? You're 14? 15?   All I was saying is that Verlander is as durable as he needs to be and altough Buehrle is very durable as well, he doesn't have much on him at all.  The last 3 years before this he only has a total of about 36 total innings over Verlander. That averages out to 12 innings per year, or less then a half an inning more per game.. closer to 1/3 or 1 out more per game then Verlander. Is that dominating or something?

Verlander is about to pitch 200 or more for I believe his 3rd straight year. That's durability at its best... that's all I"m saying

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 11:40 am

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

I think most people are missing the point here.. Buerhle is the staff ace for the White Sox.. There are 30 teams in the MLB and therefore 30 staff aces.. If you can name 30 starters better than Buerhle than I could see him ranked as a #2 starter... but for now, he is an ace.. There are a handful of pitchers with a better track record, but not many... as far as consistency and durability... On my Texas Rangers staff, he would definitely be the ace... On San Fran's staff, maybe, maybe not... I would think yes because of his veteran stature.. I think Lincecum and Cain could learn from watching him. Not to say they won't surpass what Buerhle has done, but for now, they are young kids... Whose to say in 2 or 3 years Lincecum, Cain, Haren, Verlander and such are still going to be this good? They probably will be, but you never know... Let a career do the speaking and not just 2 or 3 years...  Who is the best pitcher in Baseball? How do you really determine that? We could say to a point that so and so is the best right now... but on any given night, a pitcher can be shelled and on any given night a pitcher can through a no-no... and on any given night.. a Washington national can hit 2 grand slams in back to back innings..

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2009 11:09 am

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

Buerhle not an ace? are a joke if you dont think so.  Look at this numbers for his entire career and hes only 30!  I guess your definition of an ACE means you have to hit 95+ on the radar gun. 

Since: Aug 25, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2009 11:06 am

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

Capital  "L"

loss, defeat, dead

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 10:48 am

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



I would like to see Verlander pitch all year at US Cellular vs in Comerica and compare their ERA's. And Buehrle has nothing over Verlander in durability? This is where you are way the last 8 years Buehrle has never pitched LESS than 201 IP and as much as 245 IP. Verlander definitely has better stuff than Buehrle, and has that shut down ace potential with his stuff alone. If you want to talk about K's and stuff Verlander is one of the top pitchers in the game...and that's what people generally call an "Ace", when they have that stuff to dominate. Really, Buehrle is more suited to pitch at Comerica and Verlander in Chicago

Buehrle is 40 games over 500 in his 9th full season, Verlander is 18 over 500 in his 4th full season. Do the math.  Not counting last year, Verlander is something like 46-22 in his career with something like a 3.40 career era.  Even with that terrible year last year he's still at 3.93 vs Buehrle's 3.78.Buehrle 133-91 (.593 winning %) 3.77 career ERA , Verlander 57-39 (.593 winning %) 3.93 ERA...and if you want to compare MB 1st 4 years to Verlander's, Buehrle was 65-44 (.596 WP) with a 3.73 ERA. And if you want to play that game where you take out their worst year, then Buehrle's ERA drops to 3.63.  I'm not debating who is considered and ace and who isn't...these are results. And MB and Verlander are both very good.
I don't consider Buehrle to be an Ace, but a #1B or #2 pitcher, and if he were pitching in the NL he would look to be more dominant than he is.

Since: Jul 16, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2009 10:45 am

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

Buehrle is the only pitcher to pitch 200+ innings over the past 8 years.  This year will be 9 years in a row. 

Nice comment idiot - As for durability, I don't know exactly how many innings Buehrle has pitched the last 4 years but Verlander has 186, 201, and 201 respectively the last 3 years basically missing 2 starts 3 years ago in his rookie season (he only made 2 appearances the first year, doesn't count).  This year he's on pace for about 210 innings. Regardless of what Buehrle's numbers are, as far as durability goes he has nothing over Verlander.

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 10:09 am

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

His first full season was 2001 and since then Buehrle's lowest inning total is 201. I like Verlander as well, but to say that Verlander and the others are aces and Buerhle is not is wrong.

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