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.

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

The White Sox will battle the Oakland Athletics today, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 3:05 p.m.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon vs. Kendall Graveman

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Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes

 

White Sox ace Jose Quintana puts on a show in victory over Reds

White Sox ace Jose Quintana puts on a show in victory over Reds

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Those pesky, persistent trade rumors continue to be no match for White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana. 

The 2016 All-Star was outstanding on Thursday afternoon as he made his first Cactus League appearance in nearly a month. Still waiting on word if he'll be the team's Opening Day starter, Quintana pitched seven scoreless innings against a thin Cincinnati Reds lineup in a 4-2 White Sox victory at Camelback Ranch. 

Pitching in front of more than a dozen scouts, Quintana limited Cincinnati to two hits in a 79-pitch outing and struck out three.

"I just try to turn the page quick and keep going," Quintana said. "Never watch behind me and try to go ahead every time I can. I want to put my team in a good position to win games. It's good when you win games in spring training. It brings good energy for the season."

Quintana on Thursday followed the same format he did for Colombia against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on March 10 as he retired the first 17 Reds hitters he faced. Even after he surrendered a hit, Quintana got back to work. Featuring a fastball that sat between 91-93 mph early, Quintana had Cincinnati hitters off-balance all day. After he exited the game, Quintana sprinted to the right-field bullpen to throw 15 more pitches as he continues to build arm strength.

The outing is more of the same consistency the White Sox have come to expect from their trusted lefty. It's also why they refuse to remove the high sticker price attached to Quintana, who has competed at least 200 innings the past four seasons with a 3.32 overall ERA in that span.

As Opening Day approaches, the White Sox continue to listen to offers for Quintana but have refused to budge on their price. Manager Rick Renteria said on Wednesday he needed a few more days before naming his starter for the April 3 opener, which suggests the team would still trade Quintana at this late date. But unless one of the team's suitors finally antes up, it's hard to believe that anyone other than Quintana would take the mound against the Detroit Tigers when the 2017 season kicks off at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Quintana is on target to pitch again Tuesday, though perhaps in a minor league game as the White Sox face Kansas City that day. His next turn would come on April 2, which would easily afford the team the chance to push him back one day. 

Giving Quintana the nod in the opener would be the latest honor bestowed upon him. Earlier this month, Quintana dominated the eventual WBC champion as he didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. That performance came after an outstanding campaign in which Quintana finally appeared in an All-Star Game.

All of the above has Quintana feeling pretty good about his abilities. 

"I have confidence in me, and every time I go out there I just try to have fun and enjoy that time," Quintana said. "I spend good time with my teammates. Every time I go to the mound, I feel pretty good."

Nicky Delmonico homered and singled in a run in the victory for the White Sox. He drove in three runs and hit his third homer of the spring. Leury Garcia also had two hits and made a pair of nice defensive plays at second base.