I love watching Mark Buehrle pitch. He works quickly, doesn’t walk hitters, and it’s fun to see a guy who rarely throws above 86 mph strikeout big leaguers. But in the AL East with such hitters parks such as Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, and Rogers Centre, will Buehrle be able to limit the longball?
In his 12 year run of minimum 200 innings pitched and minimum 10 wins, Buehrle has averaged roughly 220 innings and 25 homers allowed per season for an average of 1 homer/8.8 innings pitched. So far this season Buehrle has allowed 6 homers in 28 innings or 1 homer/4.7 innings pitched. Is this just a bad start or is it the competition and small parks in the AL East?
Buehrle has average 84 mph on his fastball this year, which means he absolutely has to rely on changing speeds, pitching to all parts of the strikezone, and limiting mistakes.
I think it’s probably too early to say, but I’m certainly asking the question after last night’s loss where Buehrle surrendered 3 homers in an otherwise well-pitched game: Is this a slow start or should we come to expect “Beachball Buehrle” and simply know that at anytime the longball can be his undoing – no matter how well he’s throwing?
One more comment on the game last night: Could Edwin Encarnacion be anymore unlucky? He continues to rip the ball with little to show for it in terms of batting average.