I didn't expect Mark Buehrle to be great, but I didn't expect a 7.02 ERA. If we weren't paying him $45 million over the 3 years we have him under contract, and/or if we had any other options to join the starting rotation, I'd be thinking that he was pitching himself out of a job.
When things are going ok for him, I really like watching him pitch. He doesn't take any time thinking about things, he just gets the ball and throws. Maybe it should take a moment to think about things? But it is good to watch and we get all the anecdotal stuff about how it is easier on the defense if you throw quickly. Defenders don't get bored, don't get back on their heels, keeps them in the game. yada yada yada. I don't know how much of that is true, but I do like watching pitchers that go quick.
Yesterdays game was strange. How often do you see a pitcher give up 7 runs in an inning and get left in to pitch 3 more scoreless innings. Who leaves a pitcher out there to give up 7 runs in one inning? Other than that 3rd inning, he was pretty good. He fought through the first inning, helping himself out by picking off a runner, and made it through scoreless, even with 2 hits and a walk against. The second inning was very quick, 3 up 3 down.
Then came the awful 3rd inning. He did have some bad luck. After a single and a walk, he got a fairly routine fly ball center. Or what would have been a routine fly ball anywhere but the ugly Tropicana Field. I haven't heard an explanation from Colby or anyone on why it landed just beyond him, but my guess is the ball went through some of the catwalks along the roof and Colby lost it and couldn't find it again, until it bounce behind him. It should have been the first out of the inning, instead a run in and two on. Next a swinging bunt down the line. I thought we were going to see the great Buehrle defensive skills, instead he hoped it would go foul and it didn't.
A bit of bad luck. We could have had 2 out and 2 on.
And, of course, Evan Longoria was up next, grand slam and we are down by 5.
Now, normally, the pitcher would be out of the game by now, but Gibby leaves him in to give up a double and a home run and we were down by 7.
Then Mark pitches 3 more innings allowing just 1 more hit. How often do you see a pitcher give up 7 runs in an inning and pitch 3 more innings?
Mark's pitched 41 innings and allowed 11 home runs. 7 starts and he's given up at least 1 home run in all but 2 games. Looking at Fangraphs, 18.6% of his fly balls are home runs, well up from his career rate of 10.1%, so maybe there is some bad luck. /maybe he'll get better. He can't get worse, right?
His walks are up too 2.4/9 this year, when he was 1.8/9 last year. Course if everything you throw, over the plate, is leaving the park, maybe you'd tend not to want to throw strikes.
By Fangraphs, his velocity is the same as always, 84.4mph on the fastball, last year 84.9. Curve is much the same 73.0 this year, 71.4 last year. Really, it all looks like he's doing pitching much the way he's always done things. I think Rogers Centre isn't the place for him, but I don't think we are putting up a new park in a hurry.
I don't know. I think, what we see is what we get. He's going to have to be perfect to get by. When he's not perfect, he'll give up runs. When he's not perfect and you add bit of bad luck, you'll get yesterday. I think it was a good idea to try Henry Blanco catching him, but it didn't seem to help.
I really don't know what the Jays can do other than keep sending him out there and hope that he figures it out, or that we score 8 runs every time he pitches. He's pretty much untradable at the moment.