Tag Archives: Mark Buehrle

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 81 DAYS

81 days to Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Win No. 81 of Mark Buehrle’s career was an eventful one and … ONE THAT THE @SOXNERD FAMILY WITNESSED.

On Aug. 1, 2005 the left-hander got the win but saw an impressive streak come to an end.

On an unbearably hot and humid day in Baltimore, Buehrle and the first-place Sox beat the Orioles 6-3 before 47,823 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Buehrle’s streak of going at least six innings was halted at 49 when he was inexplicably tossed without warning by plate ump Brian Gorman with two outs in the sixth.

The streak was the longest since Steve Carlton went 69 straight for the Phillies from 1979 to 1982.

Buehrle got the gate for the first time in his career after he plunked B.J. Surhoff with Sammy Sosa (THE TYING RUN) on first base.

The HBP was the latest in a series of plunkings in the four-game set.

Hawk Harrelson was not pleased.

“Oh, come on. What are you doing?” Hawk said on the telecast as reported in the next day’s Tribune. “You’ve got to be kidding me. What are you doing Brian Gorman? Are you nuts?

“Are you nuts? You have got to be. . . . “That is total BS.

“They drill [Tadahito] Iguchi last night … [A.J.] Pierzynski gets drilled . . . aw, I’ll tell you. That is absolutely BS from a veteran umpire.

“I’ll tell you. Some of these umpires have no clue, absolutely no clue. And evidently, he’s one of them. . . .

“The only guy who doesn’t know what’s going on is the guy behind the plate.

“That is so bad. For a veteran umpire . . . that’s so much BS, it’s unbelievable.

“(Buehrle’s 49-game streak of pitching through six innings) was ended by an inept call possibly by an inept umpire.”

By the way, Joe West was the third base ump that day. He would deliver Buehrle his second ejection five years later over a balk call in Cleveland.

Other highlights from that game …

*Prior to the game, the Orioles learned Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for steroids.

*Buehrle improved to 12-4.

*The win completed a four-game sweep, the Sox first in Baltimore in 1954.

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A PERFECT LOOK BACK

In my prior life, I was Sports Editor of the Kenosha News.

I spent the better part of my 29.75 years there trying to keep my Sox world and my newspaper world separate.

Every now and again, always for the betterment of the paper, the worlds intersected.

Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, which is celebrating its ninth birthday today, was one of those times.

Here is the column I wrote for the Kenosha News on No. 56’s perfecto:

A few

perfect

thoughts

I was fortunate enough to attend Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in the White Sox 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

With the exception of Game 2 of the 2005 World Series at the same venue, the “perfecto” was the most amazing, compelling, thrilling, grueling, scintillating, tense sporting event I have ever witnessed.

Here are some observations:

*There’s always a Kenosha connection: Buehrle victimized the Rays, who employ Kenosha native Dick Bosman as their minor league pitching coordinator.

While Bosman was not on hand Thursday, Scott Kazmir, one of his former “students,” was the losing pitcher. Bosman was Kazmir’s pitching coach at Double-A Montgomery in 2004.

The Rays couldn’t have been any classier Thursday. After the game, the team respectfully watched the Sox celebration from the top of their dugout with a few of the Rays politely acknowledging Buehrle.

“Yes, I’m proud to be part of this organization,” Bosman wrote to me in an e-mail. “Good people from top to bottom.”

*Other connections: Former Kenosha Kroaker and Rays reliever Joe Nelson watched the game from the bullpen.   … Current Rays’ pitching coach Jim Hickey pitched against the Kenosha Twins for the Appleton Foxes in 1984.   Don Cooper, Buehrle’s pitching coach, spent some time at Simmons Field as pitching coach for the White Sox South Bend affiliate in 1988.

*Memories: Bosman has a no-hitter himself.

On July 19, 1974, 35 years and one week ago today, the fiery right-hander no-hit Oakland for host Cleveland.

“Of course, every time there is a no-hitter, the memories come flooding back,” Bosman said.

The only blemish on the scorecard that day was a throwing error by Bosman in the fourth inning. At the time, Bosman was just the third pitcher to keep himself from a perfect game because of his own error. The others? The Giants’ Christy Matthewson on June 13, 1905, against the Cubs and the Senators’ Walter Johnson on July 1, 1920 vs.  Boston.

Buehrle, an excellent fielder, handled three chances Thursday. He retired Sox-killer Carl Crawford twice on comebackers and logged a putout on Carlos Pena’s grounder to first.

*More memories: Do you think White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves had a flashback when DeWayne Wise preserved the perfect game with a spectacular catch?

Nieves’ no-hitter of April 15, 1987, ended when Brewer teammate Robin Yount gloved Eddie Murray’s fly ball in left-center at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium.

*Been there, done that: Kenoshan Gene Pobloski was probably wondering what all the fuss over Buehrle’s perfect game was about.

He owns 20 perfect games.

Pobloski was inducted into the Kenosha USBC BA (formerly KBA) Hall of Fame on Feb. 28.

*Mapquest: Prior to Thursday, the closest perfect game to Kenosha was also thrown by a Sox pitcher.

On April 30, 1922, Charles Robertson tossed the first perfect game in Sox history at Navin Field (later renamed Tiger Stadium) in Detroit, which is 337 miles from Kenosha. U.S. Cellular Field is 60 miles from Kenosha.

If Pittsburgh’s Harvey Haddix had a little better luck, his perfect game would have been the closest pitched to Kenosha. On May 26, 1959, Haddix threw 12 perfect innings at Milwaukee County Stadium (41.6 miles from Kenosha) against the Braves. An error in the 13th ended the perfect game and a two-run homer by Joe Adcock later in the frame hung the toughest-luck loss of all-time on Haddix.

Or

If the Cubs’ Milt Pappas had gotten a call from umpire Bruce Froemming, his perfect game would have been the closest to Kenosha. On Sept. 2, 1972, Pappas retired the first 26 batters he faced at Wrigley Field (53.8 miles from Kenosha) before he walked Marv Stahl on two close pitches that Froemming would not call strikes. Pappas got the next batter to pop out to trumpet-tooting Carmen Fanzone at second for the no-no.

*Traffic!  Pat Burrell’s blast that the wall-climbing Wise gloved in the ninth inning wasn’t the only long drive Thursday.

It took me 3 hours and 9 minutes to get home after the game. The game only took 2:03.

No matter … it was worth it!

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 56 DAYS!

56 days until Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Mark Buehrle became one of the most beloved figures in White Sox history wearing No. 56 between 2001 and 2011.

Some Buehrle/56 notes:

*Buehrle’s 56th professional appearance came on Sept. 5, 2000 when he retired the only batter he faced (Rafael Palmeiro on a fly to right) while stranding two runners to end the ninth in a 2-1 loss to Texas on Sept. 5, 2000 at Comiskey Park

*The 56th pitch of Buehrle’s career was a strike to Chad Moeller to end the second in his first start and win on July 19, 2000 at the Metrodome. Buehrle got Moeller swinging with the bases loaded thanks to errors from Ray Durham and Tony Graffanino.

*Buehrle hooked the Angels’ Tim Salmon with his 56th career strikeout on May 9, 2001 at Comiskey Park

*Buehrle’s 56th start was an absolute crusher. On July 18, 2002 at Kansas City, Buehrle was lifted in the ninth after giving up a game-tying lead off homer to Carlos Beltran. Two batters later, the Sox were 5-3 losers thanks to a two-run homer yielded by Damaso Marte.

*Buehrle’s 56th win came on May 16, 2004. On that sunny Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field, Buehrle fired six shutout frames in improving to 3-1 on the season and 56-36 lifetime in the Sox 11-0 win over Minnesota.

*The 56th batter Buehrle faced in the postseason was the Angels Darin Erstad in Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle got his future teammate to fly to center to end the seventh in a 1-1 game. Two innings later, A.J. Pierzynski stole first base in sparking the Sox win

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 60 DAYS

60 days until Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Mark Buehrle held freshly-minted Hall of Famer Chipper Jones gutless in four at bats en route to career win No. 60 on June 13, 2004 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Buehrle ended his day by getting Jones, who was batting fourth as the DH, to hit into a double play to end the eighth in the Sox 10-3 victory.

The popular lefty gave up eight hits (including two to Julio Franco) and three earned runs with no walks and four strikeouts in improving to 7-1.

Joe Crede and Jamie Burke combined for six RBI as the Sox banged out 13 hits.

@SOXNERD BLOG: BUEHRLE TIMELINE

@SoxNerd Blog for June 26:

Before last weekend becomes too distant of a memory, here’s a look back at some key moments in the career of Mark Buehrle, who had his No. 56 retired by the @WhiteSox on Saturday:

*MAY 21, 1999, WELCOME MARK: After being selected in the 36th round of the previous draft, Buehrle signed with the White Sox. 423 days later, he made his big league debut for the Sox.

*JULY 16, 2000, BIG LEAGUE DEBUT: Buehrle pitched the ninth in making his big league debut in the White Sox 11-5 win over Milwaukee before 30,050 at Comiskey Park. After just 36 games and 217.1 minor league innings, Buehrle fanned the first batter he faced in Jose Hernandez. The 21-year old wound up giving up a run in the first of his 518 big league appearances.

*JULY 19, 2000, A GOOD START: Buehrle earned the victory in his first big league start in the White Sox 3-2 win at Minnesota. Buehrle limited the Twins to two runs on six hits in seven innings to become the second Sox rookie to earn his first win in the last three days. On July 17, Jon Garland defeated the Brewers at Comiskey Park for his first win.

*MAY 26, 2001, LEAVING HIS MARK ON DETROIT: Buehrle blanked the Tigers on three hits in the White Sox 8-0 win at Detroit for his first career shutout and complete game. Buehrle walked one and fanned six in the 119-pitch gem. At one point, the left-hander retired 13 straight batters. The shutout was the first by a White Sox lefty in Detroit since Floyd Bannister on July 29, 1987 at Tiger Stadium.

*AUG. 3, 2001, ONE-HIT WONDER: Buehrle tossed a one-hitter in the White Sox 4-0 win over Tampa Bay before 19,330 at Comiskey Park. The one-hit shutout was the first by a Sox pitcher since Alex Fernandez’s gem May 4, 1992 vs. Milwaukee at Comiskey Park. Buehrle retired the first 15 batters he faced and did not allow a hit until Damian Rolls led off the seventh with a single. This was the furthest a Sox pitcher had taken a no-hitter since Scott Eyre and Keith Foulke held the A’s hitless on Aug. 12, 1998 at Comiskey Park. This was also the seventh time in 2001 that Buehrle had retired at least 10 consecutive batters in a game.

*APRIL 1, 2002, OPENING DAY DEBUT: In the first of his club-record nine Opening Day starts, Buehrle outdueled Freddy Garcia in the White Sox 6-5 win at Seattle. Buehrle went six innings and gave up one run on two hits with five strikeouts and eventually watched Keith Foulke get through the ninth for the save.

*APRIL 12, 2002, HOME OPENER SUCCESS: In his first start in a home Opener, Buehrle got the win in the White Sox 5-2 triumph over Baltimore before 41,128 at Comiskey Park. Buehrle moved to 3-0 on the season by yielding one earned run on two hits over seven innings.

*JULY 9, 2002, ALL-STAR DEBUT: Buehrle gave up a run in two innings in making his All-Star debut in the American League’s 7-7 tie at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Buehrle entered in the fourth and retired the side in order (including a strikeout of Vladimir Guerrero) before yielding a run in the fifth.

*JULY 21, 2004, MINIMUM MARK: Buehrle faced the minimum in the White Sox 14-0 win over the Indians in Cleveland. Buehrle gave up two hits but both runners were erased on double plays in making him the first Sox pitcher to face the minimum in a complete game since LaMarr Hoyt did it in May 2, 1984 at Comiskey Park.

*APRIL 4, 2005, THE FIRST OF 99!  Buehrle fired eight scoreless innings in the White Sox 1-0 Opening Day win over Cleveland before 38,141 at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle, making his fourth consecutive Opening Day start, K’d five and walked one and got relief help from Shingo Takatsu as the Sox secured the first of their 99 regular season wins in their World Series championship season.

*APRIL 16, 2005, A VICTORY IN 99 MINUTES: A complete game effort from Buehrle enabled the White Sox top Seattle in 1 hour and 39 minutes before 25,931 at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle fanned a career-high 12 in the fastest game in the Majors since a San Diego at Atlanta game on Sept. 30, 1984 and the fastest Sox game since a 1:38 affair on July 7, 1975 at Detroit.

*JUNE 28, 2005, WIN STREAK REACHES 9: Buehrle improved to 10-1 in winning his ninth consecutive decision in the first-place White Sox 2-1 win at Detroit. The nine-game winning streak was the longest of Buehrle’s career.

*JULY 12, 2005, ALL-STAR STARTER: Buehrle started and got the win in the American League’s 7-5 win in the All-Star Game at Detroit. Buehrle struck out three in two shutout innings in becoming the first Sox pitcher to start and win the same All-Star Game.

*OCT. 5, 2005, GAME 2 WINNER! Buehrle tossed seven innings for the win in the White Sox 5-4 conquest of Boston to take a 2-0 lead in the American League Division Series before 40,799 at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle yielded four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts in his first postseason start.

*OCT. 12, 2005, ALCS WINNER: Buehrle posted the first of the White Sox four consecutive complete game victories in a 2-1 walkoff win over the Angels in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series before 41,013 at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle fanned four and got the win when Joe Crede’s double plated pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna with two outs in the ninth after A.J. Pierzynski reached first on a dropped third strike. He gave up five hits in posting the Sox first post-season complete game since Wilson Alvarez’s effort in Game 3 of the 1993 American League Championship Series in Toronto. Buehrle fashioned the Sox first home postseason complete game since Ed Cicotte lost Game 4 of the ill-fated 1919 World Series at Comiskey Park. Buehrle turned in the Sox first postseason complete game victory at home since Red Faber beat the Giants in Game 2 of the 1917 World Series.

*OCT. 23, 2005, FALL CLASSIC START: Buehrle went seven innings but got no decision in his start in the White Sox 7-6 walkoff win over Houston in Game 2 of the World Series before 41,432 at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox won the game, which featured Paul Konerko’s grand slam, on Scott Podsednik’s game-ending homer.

*OCTOBER 25, 2005, BIG SAVE! Buehrle got the final out in the 14th for the save as the White Sox took a 3-0 lead in the World Series with a 7-5 win over Houston at Minute Maid Park in the longest game by time and innings in the history of the Fall Classic. After the Sox took the lead in the top of the 14th, the Astros threatened in the bottom half but Buehrle came on and got the final out with two on sheer guts to earn the first save of his big league career and his first posting three saves in his first year of pro ball at Class-A Burlington in 1999.

*APRIL 18, 2007, A NO-HITTER: Buehrle no-hit Texas in the White Sox 6-0 win over Texas before 25,390 at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle walked one and fanned eight in facing the minimum for the 16th no-no in team history. Texas’ only baserunner was Sammy Sosa, who walked in the fifth but Buehrle picked him off. This was in the Sox first home no-hitter since Joel Horlen turned the trick vs. Detroit in 1967.

*JUNE 10, 2007, NO. 100! Buehrle gave up one run on eight innings to earn his 100th win in the White Sox 6-3 victory over Houston before 33,433 at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle struck out four in becoming the 12th Sox pitcher to win 100 games and the first pitcher drafted by the Sox to reach the milestone.

*JUNE 14, 2009, HOMER! Buehrle hit the only homer of his career in the White Sox 5-4 win in an interleague game at Milwaukee. Buehrle’s blast off Braden Looper leading off the third was the first by a Sox pitcher since Jon Garland in 2006. Buehrle went six innings but received no decision.

*JULY 14, 2009, ALL-STAR MARK! Buehrle fired a scoreless third inning in the American League’s 4-3 win in the All-Star Game in St. Louis. Buehrle retired Chase Utley, Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun in his third and final All-Star appearance. This was Buehrle’s fourth All-Star team (he did not pitch in 2006), tying him with Billy Pierce for the most in franchise history.

*JULY 23, 2009, PERFECTO! Buehrle tossed the second perfect game in team history and 18th in big league history in the White Sox 5-0 win over Tampa Bay before 28,036 at U.S. Cellular Field. Dewayne Wise saved the perfecto with a tremendous catch up against the wall in center for the first out in the ninth. Like his no-hitter of 2007, the game lasted 2:03 and featured Eric Cooper as the plate umpire. Buehrle joined Jim Bunning, Randy Johnson, Addie Joss, Sandy Koufax and Cy Young as the only pitchers with multiple no-hitters which included a perfect game.

*JULY 28, 2009, A RECORD PERFECT STREAK: Buehrle extended his streak of consecutive batters retired to a record a 45 in the White Sox 5-3 loss at Minnesota. The streak, which covered three starts including a perfect game, ended with a two-out walk in the sixth inning.

*APRIL 5, 2010, OPENING DAY GEM/RECORD: Buehrle executed a play for the ages while making his club record eighth Opening Day start in the White Sox 6-0 win over Cleveland before 38,935 at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle made an acrobatic play by flipping the ball with his glove between his legs to first base for the out in the fifth inning.

*APRIL 1, 2011, FINAL OPENER: Buehrle earned the win in extending his club-record of Opening Day starts to nine in the White Sox 15-10 victory at Cleveland. Buehrle gave up four runs in six innings in what would be his final Opening Day assignment for the Sox.

*SEPT. 27, 2011, LAST SOX HURRAH: Buehrle fired seven shutout innings for the win in a 2-1 win over Toronto before 23,934 in what would be the lefty’s last appearance in a White Sox uniform. In classic Buehrle fashion, the game lasted just 2:16 as he ended his Sox career 161-119 with a 3.83 ERA and as the all-time leader with 90 wins at Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field.

*JULY 6, 2015, THE END: In his final appearance at Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field, Buehrle took the loss for Toronto in a 4-2 White Sox win before 24,593 in Chicago. Buehrle went the distance but did not yield an earned run in being outdueled by Chris Sale, who also fashioned a complete game in a contest that took just 1:54.

*JUNE 24, 56 FOREVER: Buehrle had his No. 56 retired by the White Sox in an emotional ceremony at Guaranteed Rate Field.