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: Jan 31, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2009 10:09 am

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

"Before the perfect game, Beurhle was having a good year for him, but not an all-star kind of year and he has only had one all-star like season, 2005.  He won 19 games a few seasons before, but not with great stats."
Actually, he was having an all-star year... that is why he was an All-Star.  He has been an All-Star 4 times.  People like to insist that great pitchers must throw in the high 90's with big strikeout potential.  However, exceptional control can be just as effective... look at Maddux.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 29, 2009 9:59 am

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

Careful when you call him better then Verlander. I'm smart enough to know that even with a 2 game lead, the sox are probably a much better team then the Tigers. That being said with the exception of last year when Verlander had an off year, his era is better then Buehrle's era and is most likely a better pitcher.  Also, Verlander is 4 years younger so don't forget that and he has pitched a no hitter already in his career as well ( not that it really matters when comparing pitchers).

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.

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. 

I like Buehrle though because with all of the above being said, he's still a great pitcher. I just think that if Verlander was pitching in Chicago, Boston, New York, La, or Phili he would be on every cover of every single advertisement everywhere. But he's on the Tigers and doesn't get any recogniton.

It'll be interesting though. The Tigers get one more year kinda cheap, and then he can test free agency. I wonder what sort of offers he gets? He won't even be 28 years old yet when he's a free agent.  If he continues like this through next season, I have a feeling the Tigers won't be able to afford him. Does he get a cc contract???

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2009 9:40 am

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

Mark Buerhle, might not be an ace (in YOUR opinion), but dont even think about calling Santana or Sabathia aces this year either. If Mark Buerhle was in the NL he would have an ERA of around 2.5 for his career. And how can you ever call Buerhle a #3? I think you should sit back and watch the future Hall of Famer pitch one game and then we can talk.

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: July 29, 2009 9:35 am

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

I grew up in Chicago, and we really have not had all that much to root for in Baseball in my 41 years of watching it. Other then those tease of a season,the biggest thing of course has been the White Sox winning it all a few years ago.I am a Chicago Baseball fan,I want both to win and do well,when they play each other I am a Cub fan.I named my son after the great Cub 2nd Baseman Ryne Sandburg.I followed Robin Ventura of the White Sox when he played, and I think if he had not had that terrible broken leg and ankle on that slide at the plate he might have had one monster of a career.As it was he had a good career.But what Mark Buehrle has done with his Perfect game, No-Hitter, and the World Championship he he helped the White Sox win and now 45 consecutive batters retired is now Hall Of Fame material.All this week that was what was being debated,I dont think there is anyone who can say now that he should not make the Hall.He will get the 100 or so more  wins I think he needs because he does not throw the hard stuff.He has a real free and easy throwing motion,he relies on off speed stuff and guile to get batters out.I also think he will throw another no-hitter before he is done,the one he threw, he only walked 1 batter,otherwise he would have 2 perfect games now.Mark Buehrle was the 5th pitcher to do what he has done,Perfect Game,No-Hitter,the other 4 are or will be in the Hall Of Fame,after last night Mark Buehrle should make the Hall Of Fame also.Great job Mark!

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2009 9:05 am

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

what a d-bag.

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 8:52 am

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

Buehrle has similar win/loss record and ERA as Sabathia, similar w/l better ERA than Verlander, better W/L similar ERA as Felix.  What is it that makes them a better Ace than he is? Those are career stats.  Thay have all won around 60% for their career except for Felix who is below that and all are 3.6-3.8 ERA.  I'll take his durabilty over them.

Since: Jul 7, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2009 2:33 am

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

Wow that's good to hear but it's what I would expect from the fans in Minnesota.  True baseball fans.  Couldn't watch the game but saw that Dotel came in in relief and walked 3 batters....nice job Octavio.  And some run support would have been nice.  Come on Sox.. get it rolling again!

Since: Nov 4, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2009 2:05 am

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

Burnett>Sabathia Wink

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 1:39 am

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


zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  your post was boring and probably put most people to sleep before they finished it.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt, seeing as you had a 99 rating.  You have valid points but so do the congressional records.  Keep it concise bud.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2009 1:14 am

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

And yes, those other pitchers listed earlier ARE better than Beurhle.  One and half games does not change the fact Beurhle is just a little bit better than average.  No GM in baseball would take Buerhle before ANY of those pitchers and I think that was the main point.  He is not suddenly the best pitcher in the game or the American League, or even his division.  Get a grip is all we're saying.  Enjoy the record and notice that Beurhle did finish tonight with a more normal game for him, though its usually 3 or 4 ER, this time 5 ER.  He is not Greg Maddux or Tom Seaver or Steve Carlton.  He couldn't even carry Bert Blyleven's rosin bag, and Bert can't get a whiff of Cooperstown.   Settle down on the talk of greatness.

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