Mark Buehrle

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Mark Buehrle
Mark Buehrle on September 26, 2013.jpg
Toronto Blue Jays – No. 56
Starting pitcher
Born: (1979-03-23) March 23, 1979 (age 35)
St. Charles, Missouri
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
July 16, 2000 for the Chicago White Sox
Career statistics
(through April 19, 2014)
Win–loss record 190–142
Earned run average 3.81
Strikeouts 1,679
WHIP 1.27
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Mark Alan Buehrle (/ˈbɜrli/; born March 23, 1979) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He began his MLB career with the Chicago White Sox and started the opening game every season from 2002 to 2006 and again from 2008 to 2011.

Buehrle pitched a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007, surrendering just one walk to Sammy Sosa who was then picked off at first base. Two seasons later, Buehrle pitched the eighteenth perfect game in baseball history against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23, 2009.

In White Sox pitching history, Buehrle is fifth all-time in strikeouts, sixth in games started, and eighth in wins and innings pitched.[1] He has pitched over 200 innings and recorded at least 10 wins for thirteen consecutive seasons since becoming a starting pitcher in 2001.

High school, college and the minor leagues[edit]

Buehrle was born in St. Charles, Missouri, and attended Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. In his sophomore year Buehrle was cut from the school's baseball team. After High School Buehrle attended Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Missouri. He was later selected in the 38th round of the 1998 draft by the Chicago White Sox organization. He began his professional career in 1999 with then White Sox Single-A Burlington Bees.[2] He went 7–4 with a 4.10 ERA that included a complete game shutout. He followed this up with an excellent year in 2000, going 8–4 with a 2.28 ERA for the Double-A affiliate Birmingham Barons in Hoover, Alabama, giving up only 17 walks in 119 innings. He would be named the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher that season and was the winning pitcher in the Futures Game, then rated as the No. 8 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Buehrle made a total of 36 appearances in the minor leagues before joining the White Sox roster.

Major League career[edit]

Early career: 2000–04[edit]

Buehrle made his major league debut on July 16, 2000, pitching one inning of relief against the Milwaukee Brewers and allowing a run. Three days later he started against Minnesota, allowing six hits and two runs in seven innings while earning a win.

In 2001, Buehrle's first year as a major league starter, he went 16–8 with a 3.29 ERA. He threw 24⅔ consecutive scoreless innings from May 26 to June 7, the most by a White Sox pitcher since Tommy John threw 25 scoreless innings in 1967. Buehrle recorded his first complete game on May 26 against the Detroit Tigers and later pitched two consecutive complete games on August 3 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (a one-hitter) and on August 8 against the Anaheim Angels.

In 2002, Buehrle posted a 19–12 record and ranked among the American League leaders in innings pitched (2nd, 239.0), games started (tied 2nd, 34), complete games (tied 2nd, 5), shutouts (tied 2nd, 2), wins (tied 4th, 19) and quality starts (tied 5th, 23). Buehrle pitched at least 6.0 innings 30 times and at least 8.0 innings nine times. FSN (FOX Sports Net) Chicago honored him as the White Sox Player of the Year. He was selected as a member of the Major League All-Star Team that played in Japan in November. In his one start, he allowed four runs on five hits over 3.0 IP, before leaving with a bruised left shoulder sustained when he was hit with a line drive off the bat of Hideki Matsui.

Buehrle set a career high with 35 starts in 2003. He ranked among the American League leaders in starts (tied 2nd), quality starts (3rd, 24) and innings pitched (5th).

In 2004, Buehrle led the American League in innings pitched with 245⅓, in games started with 35, and in complete games with 5. He ranked among the AL leaders in quality starts (3rd, 23), walks per 9.0 innings (5th, 1.87), wins (tied 6th, 16), strikeout to-walk ratio (7th, 3.24), ERA (8th, 3.89) and strikeouts (9th). Buehrle lasted at least 6.0 innings in each of his last 28 starts. On July 21 in Cleveland, he faced the minimum 27 batters in a two-hit shutout of the Indians.

2005–2008[edit]

In 2005, Buehrle began the season with a 10–3 record, a 2.58 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP and was selected to the American League All-Star Team. He was named the 2005 MLB all star starting pitcher after Roy Halladay could not to play due to a broken leg and pitched two innings, allowing no runs and striking out 3 batters while earning a win. Buehrle's streak of 49 consecutive starts of 6 or more innings ended on August 1, 2005 after he was ejected for hitting Baltimore Orioles outfielder B.J. Surhoff. During the White Sox playoff run, Buehrle pitched a complete game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Game 2 of the ALCS, the first of four consecutive complete games for White Sox starters. He earned a no-decision in Game 2 and his first career save in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series, which the Sox swept from the Houston Astros, winning their first world championship since 1917.

Early in 2006, Buehrle was ordered by General Manager Kenny Williams to stop sliding around on the tarp during rain delays. Buehrle previously had entertained fans by running around and sliding into large puddles of water.

On October 30, 2006, the White Sox exercised their $9.5 million option for Buehrle's 2007 season.[3] Buehrle finished the 2006 season 12–13 with a 4.99 ERA, his first losing season in seven major league seasons.

On April 18, 2007, Buehrle threw a no-hitter versus the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field.[4] It was the first no-hitter in the stadium's history. It was the sixteenth such game in team history and the first since Wilson Álvarez no-hit the Baltimore Orioles on August 11, 1991. A fell walk to Sammy Sosa in the 5th inning cost him a perfect game, but he still faced the minimum number of batters, 27, by picking him off at first base two pitches later. Buehrle struck out eight Rangers during the game, throwing an efficient 106 pitches. Thanks to Buehrle's gem, the American League narrowly avoided, by mere days, five years without a no-hitter.

On July 8, 2007, Buehrle signed a four-year contract extension worth a reported $56 million[5] with a player option worth $19 million if he gets traded[citation needed].

Buehrle finished the 2008 season with a 15–12 record and 3.79 ERA, pitching at least 200 innings for the eighth straight season. He induced more double plays (34) and gave up more infield hits (38) than any other pitcher in the majors, while tying for the major league lead in bunt hits allowed (9).[6]

2009–2011[edit]

Buehrle receiving a sign during his 2009 perfect game
Teammates celebrate Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009.

On July 5, 2009, Buehrle was selected to represent Chicago at the 2009 All-Star Game, where he pitched a perfect third inning.[7]

On July 23, 2009, Buehrle threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.[8][9] It was the eighteenth perfect game in MLB history and Buehrle's second career no-hitter.[10] With the perfect game, Buehrle became the 24th pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters in a career, and the sixth perfect game pitcher who had also thrown another no-hitter, joining Cy Young, Addie Joss, Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson. (Roy Halladay would join them by pitching two no-hitters in 2010: a perfect game on May 29, and a second no-hitter on October 6, in the NLDS.)[11] Coincidentally, the home plate umpire for both of Buehrle's no-hitters was Eric Cooper (who, coincidentally, shares Buehrle's number 56). He recorded the final out against Jason Bartlett on a ground ball to shortstop Alexei Ramírez. Earlier in the 9th inning, teammate DeWayne Wise, a defensive replacement, made a spectacular catch to rob Gabe Kapler of a home run and preserve the perfect game. Like his previous no-hitter, the game was completed in exactly two hours, three minutes. On July 28, his next appearance, Buehrle retired the first 17 batters he faced before finally allowing a baserunner in the sixth inning, setting the MLB record for consecutive outs at 45.[12] Buehrle became only the third pitcher in MLB history (joining Cy Young and Sandy Koufax) to have a no-hitter, a perfect game, and a World Series title with the same team - a feat Buehrle accomplished with the White Sox in 2005 (World Series), 2007 (no-hitter), and 2009 (perfect game).

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declared July 30, 2009 "Mark Buehrle Day". Prior to the game against the New York Yankees, Buehrle was given a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

In September 2009, the July 23 perfect game received the Sporting News Performance of the Decade award.

In November 2009, Buehrle was selected with his first career Gold Glove Award. He also was honored with a Fielding Bible Award for his statistically based defensive excellence during the year.[13]

On April 5, 2010, Buehrle made his eighth career opening day start, setting a franchise record. In that game he threw 7 and 1/3 shutout innings against the Cleveland Indians and also made an incredible play which involved him flipping the ball to first base between his legs with his glove. After this play, Web Gems on Baseball Tonight added the "Buehrle-Meter", in which they compare the day's best play to the degree of difficulty of Buehrle's. The "Buehrle-Meter" is used daily on Baseball Tonight and was proposed as an idea by Baseball Tonight's John Kruk.[14]

In November 2010, Buehrle was selected with his second career Gold Glove Award. He is the only pitcher in MLB history to throw multiple no-hitters and win multiple Gold Gloves. He also won his second consecutive Fielding Bible Award.[15] He followed up with his third Fielding Bible and Gold Glove Awards in 2011.[16]

Miami Marlins[edit]

On December 7, 2011, Buehrle agreed to a four-year, $58 million contract with the Miami Marlins.[17] In his debut with the Marlins, Buehrle recorded a loss, giving up two earned runs, in six innings pitched against the Cincinnati Reds.[18] On May 5 Buehrle threw a complete game against the San Diego Padres. The Marlins won that game 4-1. Buehrle won his fourth straight Fielding Bible Award in 2012.[19] In his one season with the Marlins, Buehrle pitched to a 13–13 record with a 3.74 ERA and 125 strikeouts.

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

Buehrle during Spring Training, 2013.

On November 19, 2012, Buehrle was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Josh Johnson, José Reyes, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio, in exchange for Jeff Mathis, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Álvarez, Yunel Escobar, Jake Marisnick, Anthony DeSclafani, and Justin Nicolino.[20] On February 5, 2013, manager John Gibbons named Buehrle the number 3 starter for the 2013 season.[21] Buehrle pitched his first complete game and shutout as a Blue Jay on July 25 against the Houston Astros, and surrendered just two hits and two walks while striking out nine. The win broke a season-long seven game losing streak for the Blue Jays.[22]

On August 25, Buehrle won for the tenth time in 2013, defeating the Houston Astros 2–1. In winning the game, he extended his streak of seasons with at least 10 wins to 13, and also ended a 7 game losing streak for the second time in 2013.[23] Buehrle surpassed 200 innings for the 2013 season in a game against the Boston Red Sox on September 21, his 13th consecutive season with at least 200 innings pitched. He would finish the 2013 season with a record of 12–10, a 4.15 ERA, and 139 strikeouts over 20323 innings pitched. On October 25, Buehrle was announced as a finalist for the AL Pitcher's Gold Glove, along with teammate R.A. Dickey and Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister.[24]

Pitching style[edit]

Buehrle throws a fastball, curveball, changeup, slider, and cut fastball. Buehrle is a command pitcher, relying more on finesse and accuracy than velocity. He is also known for being a contact pitcher; rather than striking out multiple batters. Buehrle often forces line outs, ground outs, and fly outs, with occasional strikeouts. Because of his contact pitching style, his two no-hitters (including a perfect game) are even more impressive. He is considered an efficient pitcher, pitching quickly and keeping his pitch count low.

Records and statistics[edit]

On April 16, 2005, he finished a game against the Seattle Mariners in only 1 hour and 39 minutes, giving up only 1 run and 3 hits (all to Ichiro Suzuki), and backed by only two White Sox runs, both homers by Paul Konerko. In the game, he threw just 106 pitches. Subtracting the time spent between innings, the game took only 6312 minutes to play.[citation needed]

On October 25, 2005, Buehrle became the first pitcher in World Series history to start and save consecutive games.[25]

On May 14, 2006, Buehrle became the first major-league starting pitcher in over a century to allow seven runs in the first inning but then win the game. The previous time had been on September 29, 1900, when Jack Powell of the St. Louis Cardinals pitched such a game against the Chicago Cubs.[26]

On April 18, 2007, Buehrle threw a no-hitter versus the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field. (See "2005–2008" section, above.)

On June 14, 2009, Buehrle hit his first major league home run, off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Braden Looper, becoming the first White Sox pitcher to hit a home run in a game since Jon Garland on June 18, 2006, at Cincinnati.

On July 23, 2009, Buehrle threw a perfect game at U.S. Cellular Field against the Tampa Bay Rays. (See "2009–present" section, above.) Had it not been for a walk of Sammy Sosa in his 2007 no-hitter, Buehrle would have become the first pitcher in MLB history to throw two perfect games.

On July 28, 2009, Buehrle established a major league record for number of consecutive hitters retired, breaking the previous record of 41 set by Jim Barr (starter) and teammate Bobby Jenks (reliever), by retiring Minnesota Twin and former teammate Joe Crede; he went on to retire the next three batters to set the record at 45 consecutive batters retired. The streak ended with a walk to Alexi Casilla, foiling another perfect game after 523 innings.[27]

On August 3, 2010, Buehrle won his tenth game of the season against the Detroit Tigers pitching 723 innings allowing 2 earned runs on seven hits and striking out one batter in a 12–2 blowout. The win marks 10 consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins. Buehrle is one of two active starting pitchers, joining CC Sabathia to accomplish this feat.[28]

Personal life[edit]

During his early years with the Chicago White Sox, Buehrle and his then-girlfriend Jaime lived in the Bailey Park townhomes subdivision in Darien, Illinois with their two vizsla puppies; after the White Sox historic World Series championship season in 2005, he and then-fiancée Jamie moved to Lake Point Towers in Chicago, and later to back to the suburb of Burr Ridge after the birth of their first child.[citation needed]

He and his wife Jamie have two children: a son named Braden (born July 26, 2007) and a daughter named Brooklyn (born March 3, 2009).[29]

Buehrle grew up following the St. Louis Cardinals. On December 5, 2009 Buehrle attended an Albert Pujols charity fundraiser. He, along with Tony La Russa, bid and won an opportunity to manage the Cardinals for a day at 2010 Spring Training. Buehrle then gave the prize to Mickey Cunningham, a girl who has Down syndrome.[30]

Buehrle's wife had Orange County Choppers make a surprise bike for Mark to celebrate his perfect game.

Buehrle and his wife are known animal rights activists, owning four dogs and have as a result criticized NFL quarterback Michael Vick who was convicted of running a dog fighting ring. When he was traded to Toronto, he had to leave his dogs and family behind due to Breed Specific Legislation in place in Ontario. Buehrle generated controversy when he said he had, at points during the 2010 season, hoped the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback would get injured.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Major League Baseball Stats | whitesox.com: Stats. Chicago.whitesox.mlb.com (2011-01-01). Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
  2. ^ 1999 Burlington Bees Statistics – Minor Leagues. Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
  3. ^ "ESPN.com – MLB – Option play: White Sox keep Buehrle, Dye, Iguchi". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  4. ^ "Buehrle tosses no-hitter". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  5. ^ "White Sox keep ace Buehrle with four-year deal". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  6. ^ 2008 Major League Baseball Baserunning/Situ. Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
  7. ^ Buehrle relishes All-Star homecoming | whitesox.com: News. Chicago.whitesox.mlb.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
  8. ^ De Luca, Chris (2009-07-23). "White Sox' Buehrle throws baseball's 18th perfect game". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  9. ^ "Mark Buehrle Perfect Game. Chicago White Sox official website. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
  10. ^ Just, David (2009-07-23). "Buehrle joins MLB elite with perfect game". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  11. ^ "Buehrle completes perfect game to throttle Rays". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  12. ^ "Buehrle sets major league record, but takes loss when Twins rally". ESPN. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  13. ^ "The 2009 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  14. ^ Stage set for full slate of openers | MLB.com: News. Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
  15. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (2010-11-01). "Yadier Molina leads fifth annual "Fielding Bible Awards"". NBCSports.com. Retrieved 2010-11-11. "For those of us who have come to more or less ignore Gold Glove awards as a meaningful way to measure defensive excellence, the fifth annual Fielding Bible Awards were announced today." 
  16. ^ "The 2011 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. 
  17. ^ Frisaro, Joe (7 December 2011). "Buehrle agrees to four-year deal with Marlins". MLB.com. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "Miami Marlins vs. Cincinnati Reds recap". 
  19. ^ "The 2012 Awards". ACTA Sports. October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. 
  20. ^ "MLB approves mega-deal between Blue Jays and Marlins". TSN.ca. November 19, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  21. ^ Toman, Chris (February 5, 2013). "Blue Jays set rotation around No. 1 Dickey". MLB.com. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Buehrle helps Blue Jays beat Astros to end losing streak". TSN.ca. July 25, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (August 25, 2013). "Blue Jays reward Buehrle with ninth-inning rally". MLB.com. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey named as American League Gold Glove Award finalists". bluebirdbanter.com. October 25, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Extra! Extra! Sox win! on ChicagoSports.com". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  26. ^ MINNEAPOLIS (AP). "Buehrle overcomes disastrous first for fourth victory". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  27. ^ "Mr. Perfect: Buehrle sets MLB record by retiring 45 straight hitters". USA Today. Associated Press. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  28. ^ Padilla, Doug. (2010-01-02) Buehrle has a 10–10–10 afternoon. ESPN.o.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
  29. ^ Mark Buehrle Welcomes Daughter Celebrity Baby Blog, March 11, 2009
  30. ^ Buehrle bids to be Cardinals manager | whitesox.com: News. Chicago.whitesox.mlb.com (2011-01-01). Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
  31. ^ Chicago White Sox's Mark Buehrle hoped for a Michael Vick injury at times during 2010 season – ESPN Chicago. Sports.espn.go.com (2011-02-10). Retrieved on 2011-11-15.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mark Mulder
American League All-Star Game Starting Pitcher
2005
Succeeded by
Kenny Rogers
Preceded by
Kevin Brown
Kenny Rogers
American League Pitcher of the Month
May 2004
June 2005
Succeeded by
Mark Mulder
Barry Zito
Preceded by
Randy Johnson
Perfect game pitcher
July 23, 2009
Succeeded by
Dallas Braden
Preceded by
Aníbal Sánchez
Jonathan Sánchez
No-hitter pitcher
April 18, 2007
July 23, 2009
Succeeded by
Justin Verlander
Ubaldo Jiménez
Preceded by
Jim Barr
Bobby Jenks
Most consecutive batters retired (45) record holder
July 19–28, 2009
Succeeded by
Incumbent