MLB

Perfect game showcases Buehrle's talent

Share This Story

Jon Paul Morosi

Jon Paul Morosi is a National MLB Writer for FOXSports.com. He previously covered baseball for the Detroit Free Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He began his journalism career at the Bay City Times in his native Michigan. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 
And we thought Mark Buehrle's season highlight would be the All-Star Game, where he greeted the White Sox Fan in Chief and received a warm ovation from the St. Louis crowd. Then came Thursday afternoon on the south side of Chicago, when Buehrle's perfection reminded us that he belongs in any discussion of this decade's best pitchers.
downlevel description
This video requires the Adobe Flash Player. Download a free version of the player.
Some two years and three months after no-hitting the Texas Rangers, Buehrle threw the first perfect game for a White Sox pitcher since 1922 in a 5-0 victory over Tampa Bay. So maybe it's time to revisit how fans across the country view Buehrle, a left-hander who was born in the Midwest (St. Charles, Mo.), lives in the Midwest (yep, still St. Charles), has spent his entire big-league career in the Midwest, and has never seemed to get the credit he deserves. He's been so good that his name should be included on grade-school spelling tests from Oak Lawn to Oak Forest. Buehrle takes no-hit caliber stuff to the mound on a regular basis — just not like Randy Johnson, who, incidentally, was the last pitcher to complete the rare no-hitter/perfect game combination. Buehrle's brilliance is in an ability to repeatedly put the ball where hitters can't do much with it. He throws a ton of strikes. He rarely walks people. He works so quickly that, when I turned away from the TV to note the second strike on Michel Hernandez during Thursday's ninth inning, I heard Hawk Harrelson's HE GONE before I could look back. He's a very popular figure in the White Sox clubhouse, liked and respected by coaches, teammates, opponents and reporters alike. But he's never craved attention or promoted himself. He just pitches, and he does it better than pretty much everyone else. And since we're on the subject, let's take a look at the résumé he's built:
  • One world championship.
  • Two victories in postseason play, including one complete game.
  • Four All-Star selections.
  • 133 career wins since his debut in 2000, ranking eighth (with Roy Halladay) in wins during the 2000s according to STATS LLC, just 10 behind decade-leader Johnson.
  • And now the rare no-hitter/perfect game combination, something only seven pitchers in modern baseball history have accomplished. Remember, too, that Buehrle, 30, is a relatively young pitcher — especially by the standards of left-handed starters. Kenny Rogers, a similar lefty in some respects, won 166 games after his 30th birthday. If Buehrle does the same thing, he will finish his career with nearly 290 victories and be on his way to Cooperstown.
    Really, though, Buehrle shouldn't need to win that many games in order for people to see his worthiness for the Hall of Fame. For him, 260 or 270 might be a more reasonable number. Think about the mitigating circumstances at work here: Buehrle has spent his entire career in a hitter-friendly park, particularly during the summer months, on a pitching staff that didn't have a true lights-out closer until Bobby Jenks arrived midway through the 2005 season. He also pitched in the American League during the steroid era, leading us to wonder how many home runs he allowed to juiced players. But hopefully we'll have to wait many years before viewing Buehrle's career in the past tense. If his career resembles that of Rogers or Jamie Moyer, we'll have the pleasure of watching him pitch into his 40s. Ten years from now, we might be wondering if Mark Buehrle is among the best pitchers of that decade, too.
  • Tagged: White Sox, Blue Jays, Phillies, Giants, Rays, Mark Buehrle, Jamie Moyer, Roy Halladay, Bobby Jenks

    More Stories From Jon Paul Morosi



    MLB Videos

    Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
    Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

    Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
    Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

    Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
    Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

    SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

    More Than Sports on MSN

    Fox Sports Store

      itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
      Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
      Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
      Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
      Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
      New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
      Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
      Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..