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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Buehrle's Number Retired, Shields Should Be Retired

June 24th vs. the Oakland Athletics

Sox Office Smash Hit:
The Poseidon Adventure
Captain Buehrle sets sail on a lovely afternoon, then bilgemaster Shields capsizes the ship.

Short Take: James Shields reverts to 2016 form, giving up six runs in three innings to set up a 10-2 loss to the Athletics.

Mark Buehrle is about as good as it gets. That's true in so many ways. He was always a great pitcher, of course, though if you look solely at his stats you'd probably get an argument from the sabermetric crowd: record of 214-160 with an earned run average of 3.81. Harrumph. There are dozens of other pitchers with better numbers than that.

Yeah, but... In one of Ken Harrelson's bits of folk wisdom, he has said, "Don't tell me what you hit, tell me when you hit it." I would paraphrase that for Buehrle: "Don't tell me what you pitched, tell me when you pitched it." Buehrle had enough stuff to pitch a no-hitter, a perfect game, a win and a save in the World Series, do all that while throwing more than 200 innings 14 years in a row, and along the way win four consecutive Gold Glove awards.

This all from a guy chosen in the 38th round of the 1998 amateur draft. A junior-college player who had been cut by his high school team, pick number 1,139, an afterthought, one of the crumbs scraped off the table after the big meal has been served. Intangibles? Here was the consummate team player, a clubhouse favorite, the one you want to hang around with after the game, the guy who enjoyed himself so much at the ballpark that he would belly-slide on a rain-soaked tarp and chat up the dugout while in the midst of a perfect game.

Today was the day Mark Buehrle got the formal approbation he's long deserved. His number was retired alongside ten other Sox players to acknowledge the place he holds in team history. Buehrle is a synonym for crowd favorite, one of very few players fans would pay to see. I've paid to see him many times and I'm only sorry now that I won't be able to see him pitch again.

Then there was a game.

Sigh...after the number-retirement ceremony the Sox played a forgettable game against the Oakland Athletics and lost 10-2. The less said about this game, the better. James Shields started and gave up the first six runs and set a couple of milestones: he got his 2,000th strikeout in the second inning (good for him), and also gave up the first MLB home runs to three different players before the fourth inning (great for the A's rookies).

A parade of relievers gave up four more runs before it was over. The blood-pressure topper was a bad call in the seventh when Todd Frazier's errant throw forced Jose Abreu to stretch. Blue-shirted boor Sam Holbrook called the runner safe, claiming Abreu's foot was off the bag. The Sox challenged the call, and incredibly, the panjandrums in New York upheld it, though every replay shown to the world showed Abreu's foot touching the base. Frazier made a fitting remark to Holbrook about his opthomological needs, and was ejected. Rick Renteria came out offering LensCrafters coupons, and was also ejected. Holbrook apparently enjoys being wrong and being confirmed in it.

As maddening as officious meatballs like Holbrook are, they're not why the Sox lost today. Shields didn't have it, he didn't have it last year, and the White Sox are still on the hook to pay him big money for another two years. That's a big commitment for a batting-practice pitcher.

We were spoiled watching Mark Buehrle. Let the countdown begin for Kopech, Giolito, and Fulmer -- they can't get here soon enough.

Mark, we miss you, man. We remember when pitchers knew how to pitch.

submitted by tebman.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Alen Hanson

No pitcher was going to win it today. Hanson went 2-for-4, which is about as good as it got.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

September 24... Covey Captivates, but Kluber Cruises

September 22... At Least They Won't Clinch Here

September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

September 8... Anaheim Annihilation

September 3... Power Special

September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

August 30...Leaky Bullpen Bombed by Boston

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