Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Buehrle Bile File asks, "Who's funnier?": Game 140 Preview

Mark Buehrle (L,12-11, 4.71) for the PaleHose
Cliff Lee (L, 11-10, 4.63) for the Politically Incorrect Monikers of Cleveland
(To be honest, for some reason I thought Buehrle was pitching on Friday, so this is a little rushed.)

The Buehrle Bile File asks...

Do we get this group of shmucks playing for us this weekend against the Politically Incorrect Monikers of Cleveland?

Sadly the White Sox have a losing record (5-7) this year against Eric Wedge and his MVP candidate, Travis "Pronk" Hafner.

Even more alarming is the way the Politically Incorrect Monikers of Cleveland have been playing of late. They're hotter than a wigwam sweat-fest in July. (Okay, maybe not, but I really wanted to type that analogy. They're actually 6-4 in their last 10 games.)

Or will we get a repeat of the recent stellar starting pitching? Which leads me to think of another famous "Mark"...

Mark "Buehrle" Twain, the Godfather of American Comedic Prose. Mark's pitching has run the gamut of characterization from river boat-like steamin' to down home u-g-l-y. And his recent flirtation with the DL makes this start as must see as the house floating down river in Huckleberry Finn.

Which Mark will show up tonight?

The unintentional comedy king of hip-hop (giving up homeruns, base hits and big innings) or the classic American author (scattering hits, inducing GIDPs and pitching quickly)?

Tune in and find out!

My Pick to Click tonight...once again I'm going out on a limb here and picking Jermaine Dye.

Everyone else drop your PtCs in the comments and make sure to check out a very relieved Jeeves' recap of last night's game. It's the next post down.


Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

this is getting to be a redundant comment but Frank Thomas yanked another home run. I think that ballot for Comeback Player of the Year is getting crowded.

9/07/2006 7:46 AM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Interesting and rather short read by Frank Deford on his thoughts about how pitch counts and taking pitches is ruining the game.

He really doesn't propose anything revolutionary to fix "the problem," but I thought it might be worth a look to create some kind of dialogue.

Personally, I've always wondered about the magic number pitch count and why it has sprung up relatively recently as the end-all number for guarding a pitcher when gamers of by-gone days routinely pitched 100+ pitches and complete games on fewer days rest.

Do they count the pitches in the bullpen on side days? Do they count the warm up pitches before the start of an inning? Do they count the pitchers playing long toss in the OF?

The idea of hurting the game by a batter taking more pitches and fouling off more pitches is a curious one especially considering how Hawk and DJ have mentioned frequently how they've seen more foul balls this year than ever before.

I won't deny that a big factor somewhat overlooked is the shape in which players compete now-a-days. Modern players are well-defined athletes as opposed to being men with "good hitting eyes" only.

So is this really a problem? Is it unnecessarily lengthening games? Is it watering down the game? Does it put too much stress on the pitchers?

I'm curious what everyone think. Check out the link, and chime in if you wish.

9/07/2006 8:10 AM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

Pick is Paulie

I will read the article, but I wonder if there's too much throwing these days by young kids - especially curves / sliders and if this is why there's more breakdown by major leaguers. Maybe the damage is already well on it's way before these guys get to the bigs. Then they try "solving " it by limiting throws in the bigs - when the real source is when they were younger and pitching too much, too many breakers, too long of a season with Traveling Teams etc etc.

Is this covered in the article ?

I'll read it on Lunch break.

9/07/2006 9:40 AM  
Blogger Fornelli said...

Gimme the Gooch.

9/07/2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger Fornelli said...

Gimme the Gooch.

Also, I'm still mad at Frank Thomas for the time about 8 years ago when he was eating at the Oak Brook Denny's my friends and I always ate at, and he refused to touch my special area.


Just kidding, though he did want to be seated way off in his own section of the restaurant so he wouldn't be bothered. He left my friend (his server) a $20 tip though.

Still, I remember Chelios coming into that same Denny's with his family, and paying the bill for our whole section. He even bought me pie!

9/07/2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

I sometimes do think that the 100 pitch plateau limits pitchers too often. I suppose if you're trying to prevent injury, it really should depend on the pitcher. Some guys can throw forever (The Big Unit) and some are a bit more fragile and need their numbers watched (Pedro)
I thinnk that the new importance placed on middle relief and on the closer has contributed to pitchers getting pulled around 100 pitches. The Angels for example, can pull a pitcher after sixth with no problem. They can turn to Donnelly for the 7th, Shields for the 8th, and K-Rod for the 9th.
I also think pitchers throw harder today than they did in the old days, and some newer pitches, like the slurve, put more stress on a pitcher's arm.

9/07/2006 10:51 AM  
Blogger Criminal Appeal said...

I don't care if the Indians are hot, and I don't care if they've beaten us 7 of 12. If the Sox can't take 3 of 4 from a sub .500 team at home, then they don't deserve to make the post-season.

As for Deford, I actually find his article fairly inane. Working the count has a number of advantages. Spoiling strikes increases the chances of drawing a walk. Fouling off tough pitches gives you more chances to see an easy-to-hit pitch. These are far more important reasons to have a patient approach at the plate than merely wearing out the opposing pitcher. Although, that is a side benefit, whether you're counting pitches or not. For a good, detailed look at protecting young arms, check out Will Carroll's book, Saving the Pitcher. He argues loss of velocity is a better indicator that a pitcher is ready to come out than pitch counts.

9/07/2006 10:56 AM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

I just came across this in Tom Verducci's mailbag...

I loved your magazine story on Justin Verlander and other young arms getting tired. But I'm curious: In light of all that evidence, how does one explain careers like those of Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan? Or, for that matter, Iron Joe McGinnity and Walter Johnson, pitching 18 inning games or both games of a doubleheader? How did they do that? When did it all change?
-- Dan Fost, San Rafael, Calif.

I remember doing some research on Ryan's games and finding that he often threw more than 200 pitches in a start. Amazing. Things changed with the specialized bullpen and the theory that teams would try to keep their young pitchers healthier by pitching them less. I'm not so sure that works. I think they need to pitch more -- within reason, of course. And remember, you're picking out some of the real freaks of nature and all-time greats. You could just as easily point out guys like Larry Dierker, Jim Maloney, Wayne Simpson, Wayne Garland, Mark Fidrych, etc. -- guys who didn't hold up under all those pitches.

9/07/2006 11:15 AM  
Blogger Fornelli said...

I'm so good at double posting my comments, that they grow paragraphs the second time around.

9/07/2006 11:50 AM  
Blogger Fornelli said...

Also, in one of those crazy moments where Hawk said something that was actually accurate, the higher pitching mounds do help keep arms healthy.

Pitch counts themselves are what caused the need for pitch counts. When an arm consistently throws 150+ pitches a game, it becomes conditioned to throw that many. If you only let a guy throw 100 pitches a game, then anytime he gets over that mark it's gonna hurt.

When I was a kid I used to throw a ball off of my garage door around 150 times a day during the summer, and guess what...I've never needed rotator cuff surgery, tommy john surgery, or any of that shit.

I did have an ingrown toenail once that did require surgery however.

9/07/2006 11:56 AM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

The ingrown toenail came from throwing off too flat of a mound.

9/07/2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous D.T. Kelly said...

While I know my PTC didn't count the other day (based on my Dye fiasco), I'm going to repeat it and pick the Politically Incorrect Monikers of Cleveland.

9/07/2006 1:21 PM  
Blogger Criminal Appeal said...

You can't compare pitchers from the deadball era to modern guys. They didn't pitch under the same arm stress. They only had to really use their best stuff when men were in scoring position because the HR ball wasn't a concern. As for Ryan, he built innings slowly. He didn't throw a ton of innings until he was 25. Research shows that young guys face the most risk the first time they reach the 130 inning plateau (and there are a couple of subsequent danger numbers as well). Ryan pitched almost exactly 130 innings twice before pushing past that number, and then he stopped at 150 at age 24 before going way over. Clemens also stopped at 130 or below his first two seasons before busting through that plateau at age 23. It's just as surprising what Buehrle has been able to do, for example, throwing more than 200 innings at age 22, without a single season as a 130 inning guy to build arm strength. And, yet, he has never broken down.
I'm now going to call my grandmother and find out what yiddish phrase I can say to undo the curse I've just clearly laid at Buehrle's feet.

9/07/2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger Fornelli said...

The ingrown toenail came from throwing off too flat of a mound.

Seriously, when I played football I had man an injury....I dislocated my kneecap on a Wednesday and started that Saturday, played with broken fingers as a lineman, broken ribs, all that shit.

None of it hurt like that toe did. When nobody was around, that toe had me crying like a little bitch.

The worst part was when I had to get a shot in my toe before the surgery. Ever had a shot in an area of your body that's all bone? Feels real good.

9/07/2006 2:44 PM  
Blogger Criminal Appeal said...

The thought of a shot in my toe just made me physically ill.

9/07/2006 4:01 PM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

Yah, I've heard that those really suck. I forgot who it was, some pro football player and he had to sit because of an ingrown toe nail, and I thought that was ridiculous, until I was told otherwise.

9/07/2006 5:37 PM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

Come on lads....Ditka would play through it !!

9/07/2006 5:39 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Another injury note: Joe Crede is out today and tomorrow with a bad back.

The Sox are being killed by back aches this season.

9/07/2006 6:06 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

No Pronk tonight either which is good for us.

9/07/2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Well, it wouldn't be a Buehrle outing if he didn't give up a first inning run.

9/07/2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

BTW, after re-reading that Deford piece I came to realize that he's just an old fogey bemoaning days gone by. He's pulling a typical "I miss the good old days" rant because if sportswriters didn't find something to bitch about, they'd never get paid.

9/07/2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

No runs, but Mark did give up a hit in the 2nd. I'll feel alot better about his pitching when he can start a game and not give up a first inning run.

9/07/2006 7:39 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Unless Cliff Lee finds an out pitch quickly, the Sox will get to him. 1-2-3 n the 2nd but 3 hard hit balls.

But the same goes for Buehrle. Wait, they already did get to Mark.

9/07/2006 7:46 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Grady Seizmore just jacked Mark up; I guess he was pissed about the HBP in the first inning.

This does not bode well for the White Sox, and sure enough, Jason Michaels just misses a jack with a double to left.

9/07/2006 7:51 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

3-0 Indians...

Mark's pitches have no drop/break to them. They seem to staying on a single plain where he's working in and out but not up and down.

9/07/2006 7:57 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

I'm tempted to turn on football right now. The bottom 3 in our lineup looked pathetic and now the 1st two men are aboard in the 4th against Mark.


9/07/2006 8:08 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

"...Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7

Yes, I am quoting the Bible (and coincidentally enough it came from the book of James); I resisted the temptation to change the channel. There will be enough time in a month and a half to watch all the football I want.

Mark Buehrle got out of the jam, but not without a little bit of a heart attack line drive that Pablo snagged at 3rd.

So I didn't switch to football.

9/07/2006 8:17 PM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

Paulie....yer due for a clutch hit !

9/07/2006 8:26 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

someone's due for something

9/07/2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

like Mark is due for seat on the bench

high fastball yanked by martinez
(at least my fantasy baseball team just got a lift)

9/07/2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

How many times have we seen Paulie hit into a DP or pop up at a critical time of the game.....kazillions !!!

9/07/2006 8:32 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

lately, yes
and now, in stunningly appropriate fashion, an error plots to blow this game wide open

9/07/2006 8:37 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

so Mark is done for the day...his line 4.0+ innings, 4 ER, 10 hits, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP

9/07/2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

some start to the homestand, huh

9/07/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

"the times they are a'changin"

9/07/2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

Haeger...not ready for primetime...

9/07/2006 8:59 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

eh, he's a knuckballer
consistancy is NOT his middle name

9/07/2006 9:00 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Jermaine Dye just did the unforgiveable. On second with Paulie at first, he forgot how many outs there were and was doubled off second on a routine fly ball by Mack.

This team's mental acuity is softer than an uncooked egg.

9/07/2006 9:20 PM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...


get it all purged out tonight...please !!

9/07/2006 9:39 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

oh, the bile is about to spew

9/07/2006 9:49 PM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

Why can't our team build some momentum? As soon as we win a game in impressive fashion, we suck it up!

9/07/2006 9:55 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

we couldn't hit a pitcher we normally clobber...sheesh, and with no Pronk to boot

9/07/2006 10:22 PM  

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