Poetry in Pros: Buehrle's future career

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Poetry in Pros: Buehrle's future career

Saturday, July 24, 2010
3:00 PM
By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

OAKLAND The only way for Mark Buehrle to better celebrate his first career win in Oaklandaside from the beer shower he was half-anticipating after the game to mark the accomplishmentwas with a little open-mic work after the game.

The veteran lefthander celebrated the one-year anniversary of his perfect game with another masterful effort, defeating the As, 5-1, in front of a sparse Friday night crowd in Oakland. And afterward, he held court and had the comedy cracking.

Everything was down in the zone, sinkers were working, Buehrle said. They were swinging early, and I dont know if that was their game plan, but when they were swinging early, the ball was down and they were hitting ground balls.

Dont you want opponents to swing early?

Yeah, when they make outs.

It took a mere 101 pitches for Buehrle to finish his second straight complete game, which was scarred by just four hits and one earned run. It was the third time in Buehrles career hes thrown back-to-back complete games, also having achieved the feat in 2001 and 2004.

The accomplishment allowed Buehrle to poke some fun at his feisty catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, who was mocking his pitcher one out short of the complete game.

A.J. was shaking his hands like I was nervous about throwing a complete game, Buehrle said. I was like, Its my second one in a row! He forgot about the last one.

As a result, Pierzynski jogged up to Buehrle after the last out, a Kevin Kouzmanoff fly out to center fielder Alex Rios, and acted like he wanted to jump in Buehrles arms or give him a hug.

This was one of those games that was fun, he said. The whole starting staff is on a good roll; lets keep it going.

Buehrle was asked whether hed petition pitching coach Don Cooper to be sure to throw on every July 23 from now on, and the southpaw pointed out that hell just have one more July 23 to pitch in 2011 before his contract runs out. (Recall that Buehrle has threatened to retire after that contract runs out, although hell be just 32 years old.

But in a nod to how much fun it is to pitch when the team performs as well as it has for nearly two months now, Buehrle offered up a tantalizer sure to fire up Sox fans of all ilks.

If I keep pitching like this, I might not be able to retire.

Buehrle was also the butt of some jokes early in the game, when the McAfee Coliseum radar gun was malfunctioning. Oakland starter Trevor Cahill hit 200 mph on the gun. His teammates on the bench, before Buehrle even had thrown a single pitch, estimated that with such a malfunction you might be able to hit 88 today.

When informed that indeed he hit 88, and in fact 800, on the malfunctioning gun, Buehrle had his response ready:

Is that some sort of record?
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Preview: White Sox open series with Royals tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox open series with Royals tonight on CSN

The White Sox open a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight's starting pitching matchup: Jason Vargas (3-0, 0.44 ERA) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (2-0, 2.84 ERA)

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White Sox snap skid by forcing, capitalizing on Indians' mistakes

White Sox snap skid by forcing, capitalizing on Indians' mistakes

The White Sox haven't had many opportunities to capitalize on mistakes from their opponents lately because they haven't been in a position to force them. 

But in their 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox put the pressure on the defending American League champions and reaped the results. 

Two plays stand out, both of which came in the sixth inning. After Omar Narvaez drew a leadoff walk, Jacob May put down a well-placed sacrifice bunt between the pitcher's mound and first base line. Indians first baseman Carlos Santana charged in and turned to underhand a toss to second baseman Michael Martinez, who was covering first. 

But the speedy May was hustling down the line, which forced Martinez to awkwardly stretch for the ball. He dropped it, allowing May to reach. 

"Anytime you you have players that are forcing defenses to complete plays you can put them in an awkward position," manager Rick Renteria said. "I don't know that that led to that in particular but he busted his rear end down the line."

That error paid off for the White Sox three batters later — after Tim Anderson and Tyler Saladino struck out — when Melky Cabrera singled to left. Narvaez was aggressively waved home by third base coach Nick Capra (a common practice with two out) but looked to be easily out at the plate on Brandon Guyer's throw. Again, though, forcing the issue paid off: Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez dropped Guyer's throw, allowing Narvaez to score. 

"That's kind of what we've been stressing in spring, play with your hair on fire," Anderson said. "That's definitely something that we've been working on and that's something we can control, that energy level and the way we hustle."

The White Sox were sparked by a three-run first inning, which ended a stretch of 23 consecutive innings without scoring a run. Anderson began with a double off Indians starter Danny Salazar and, after Saladino singled, scored on Cabrera's sacrifice fly. 

Jose Abreu followed with a line drive to right, which fell in front of outfielder Abraham Almonte and skipped past him for a two-base error, allowing Saladino to score. Leury Garcia later delivered a two-out single to score Abreu. 

"Everybody knows how good this Cleveland pitchers are, especially the first two games with (Carlos) Carrasco and (Corey) Kluber," Abreu said through an interpreter. "Our offense was silent. But today we had more life against Salazar. We know him and we did our job."

The White Sox cruised behind that three-run first inning and a solid start from left-hander Derek Holland, who allowed one run over six innings. Holland's only mistake was a third inning hanging curveball to Francisco Lindor, who launched it for a solo home run. But he came back two innings later and struck out Lindor with the bases loaded on another curveball, ending Cleveland's best scoring threat of the game. 

"Just because something happens you got to turn the page and not worry about those kind of things, and get ready for the next one," Holland said. "He may have got me that first time but I got him the second time. So those are the kind of things, you never let something take you away from your game."