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.

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Here are some of Monday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Preview: Cubs look to bounce back vs. Giants tonight on CSN

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

Cubs can't complete another miracle comeback against Giants bullpen

Should Blackhawks' next assistant coach be Joel Quenneville's choice?

How Bears are using veteran videos to school rookies on NFL way

Luis Robert the latest high-end acquisition for White Sox

For Joe Maddon, Cubs winning World Series came down to Giant comeback in SF and avoiding Johnny Cueto in elimination game

Carlos Rodon 'getting closer' but still without time frame for return

Have the Cubs found their new leadoff hitter in Ben Zobrist?

MMQB's Peter King's thoughts on Trubisky, Howard, White and the Bears offense

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

PHOENIX -- The red-hot White Sox ran into Zack Greinke on Monday night.

He cooled them off in a hurry.

Greinke struck out 12 hitters and Daniel Descalso blasted a three-run home run off Miguel Gonzalez as the Arizona Diamondbacks sent the White Sox to a 5-1 loss in front of 18,333 at Chase Field. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the White Sox, who had scored 24 runs in their final two games against the Seattle Mariners.

“(Greinke) keeps the ball down out of the zone a lot,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s kind of enticing. He keeps the ball in the hitter’s area and it ends up falling out. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to try to get him up. Our approach was to try to make him throw a lot of strikes. He ended up hammering the strike zone early and then finally he just came into a groove.”

Descalso’s three-run shot off Gonzalez was one of two pitches the White Sox right-hander would have liked back. After Gonzalez walked Chris Owings with two outs in the fourth inning, his only free pass of the night, he left the curveball over the middle and Descalso deposited it in the right-center field stands to break a scoreless tie.

He also left a pitch up to Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth inning and the All-Star first baseman ripped it for a solo shot.

But overall Gonzalez rebounded from his previous two starts when he walked nine batters. He was sharp for three innings as he faced one over the minimum. He just missed to Owings in the fourth, which brought up Descalso.

Gonzalez allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in five innings.

“You see what happens when you walk guys,” Gonzalez said. “That wasn’t in a good situation to walk the guy. You have to keep grinding, keep making my pitches. Really two pitches were the ones that hurt me tonight. A lot of positives. Nothing to worry about. Keep working hard and things are going to go my way.

“Sometimes things don’t go your way. Those two pitches, if I take those back, you never know. It’s a different ballgame.”

Not only did Greinke strike out a dozen hitters, he limited the White Sox to four hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez had two hits, the first coming after Greinke opened the game by retiring seven straight batters. Leury Garcia homered off Greinke with one out in the fifth inning to break up his bid for a shutout.

It was quite the turnaround from when the White Sox bashed Yovani Gallardo and Chris Heston on consecutive days in Seattle. The White Sox scored a combined nine first-inning runs in winning three of four against the Mariners.