Friday, May 8, 2009

Flirting With Perfection

Top Blogs Story Line: White Sox hurler Mark Buehrle tosses eight innings of one-hit, shutout baseball against the Detroit Tigers. Mark retired the first 19 Tiger batters before Placido Polanco took a 0-2 offering from Buehrle down the left field line for a double in the seventh inning. Following Polanco's double, Buehrle walked the next two batters to load up the bases. Mark went on to retire the next Tigers batter and get an inning ending fly out to center field. Bobby Jenks came into a non-save situation in the ninth and surrendered back-to-back singles to start the inning. He went on to retire the next three batters, including striking out former Sox right fielder Magglio Ordonez to end the game.

What Buehrle had to say: "I feel so lucky. It's an honor to pitch in the major leagues. It's a kid's game and I try to have as much fun as I can, win or lose. A lot of people would love to be doing what I'm doing, and I appreciate every minute of it."

Overheard by Tigers manager Jim Leyland: "In, out, cut the ball, jam guys, tail away, change up on them -- that's the art of pitching. He just carved us up, made it look easy."

BTW: A.J. Pierzinski hit a three run home run in the first inning. It was Pierzinski's third homer in his last six games. He has 101 career homers. Jason Nix hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Nix is taking over for Alexei Ramirez at shortstop, while the young Cuban gathers his thoughts.

Hard, raw stats: In his last six games, Pierzynski is batting .542 with three homers and seven RBIs, lifting his average from .220 to .313.

What I think: This was just the kind of game the pitching staff needed. Buehrle is unquestionably the ace of the staff and this kind of outing shows why. Hopefully, some of Buehrle's confidence will spill over into some the young guns and aging veterans.

Next Up: Texas (15-12) at Chicago (12-14), 7:11 p.m. Jose Contreras (0-5) Matt Harrison (2-2)

2 comments:

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