Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stat of the Week: Mark Buehrle Works Fast. Real Fast.

Normally I don't like to focus my attention on guys who grow up Cardinal fans and become White Sox. But I have to make an exception just this once.

Obviously, Mark Buehrle faced the minimum today. That's why they call it a perfect game. It's common knowledge he's a guy who likes to work quickly (he only spent 31 minutes on the mound in this game; Steve Trachsel has gone that long in between pitches). His fastball might be slow, but his games go by like blinks. But never in history has there been a pitcher who has been able to work this quickly through so many games. Sure, it's Buehrle's 1st perfect game. It's his 2nd no hitter. But facing the minimum is old hat for the Missouri native.

This is the third time Mark Buehrle has thrown a complete-game shutout and faced the minimum 27 batters. Check it:

July 21, 2004. White Sox over the Indians 14-0. Buehrle 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 27 BF (Batters Faced)

April 18, 2007. White Sox beat the Rangers 6-0. Buehrle 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO, 27 BF

July 23, 2009. White Sox defeat the Rays 5-0. Buehrle 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 27 BF

And, although it must have seemed like a marathon outing, here's one more just to make us jealous Cub fans squirm:

August 3, 2001. White Sox best the Devil Rays 4-0. Buehrle 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 28 BF

I've been trying unsuccessfully to find a list of 9-inning games where the minimum 27 batters were faced by a pitcher or pitching staff. A comment on the latest baseball-reference blog claims that no other pitcher has duplicated Buehrle's feat, but I can't verify the fact.

Right now, I'm simply holding firm to the idea that it's a pretty safe bet. Buehrle is in a league all his own. Congrats.

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