You want boring, don’t read this blog. You want boring, don’t listen to my radio show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio. You want boring, go home.
Why all this boring talk? Because of the main guy I’m gonna highlight today. His name is Mark Buehrle, and word on the street is that even his wife is bored by him. Ah, but is boring necessarily a bad thing? I’d posit, at least in this case, that it’s not.
Buehrle hasn’t won more than 13 games the past three years. He’s never won 20 games, and only once has be won more than 16 (he came in with 19 victories in 2002). Still, he’s won at least 10 games each of the past 11 years. It doesn’t sound like much, but the only other pitcher who can match that run is CC Sabathia.
He owns a career ERA of 3.80. That’s solid, but unexciting, possibly even boring some might say. Still, hie ERA has been under 3.90 in three of the past four years and his current mark of 3.06 says he will make it four of five years.
Buehrle never strikes anyone out. His career best for a K/9 is 6.05, and he’s now working on a third straight season under five at 4.79.
So why am I talking about Buehrle? Because his boring old self has been pretty amazing of late. How amazing? Buehrle worked his 18th straight outing last night in which he allowed three or fewer earned runs (he tied Frank Smith’s 1909 record). That’s over 100 years people. In those 18 starts he’s also posted a “quality start” (six or more innings pitched with three of fewer earned runs allowed), ready for this, 17 times. Now tell me, do you want that boring guy on your team? I do.
I know none of you listened when I warned about Jose Bautista and the likely fall his batting average would take in the second half, but you should have. Bautista hit .334 in the first half, but in 22 games since the All-Star break he has hit all of .205. He’s still hitting a strong .309 on the year, but I’ve said it over and over again — even hitting .300 has always been a huge stretch for Bautista who has never hit even .265 in a season.
Adam Dunn is hitting .167 in the second half. Amazingly, that’s seven points better than he batted in the first half.
Aubrey Huff is the Giants leading hitter right now with a .249 average (he has the highest average on the club of any player with enough at-bats to qualify for the batting average title – 3.1 plate appearances per team game). He’s been on fire of late though, finally, hitting .353 in August and .305 over his last 24 games. Finally.
Adam Lind is hitting .196 since the All-Star break. The team says the blame rests with a mechanical flaw in his hack. Let’s hope that is the case, but he is unusable right now in mixed leagues.
Kerry Wood has struck out 8-straight batters to tie the all-time Cubs’ record. Kyle Farnsworth and Juan Cruz also pulled off the trick. With the hot stretch Wood has upped his K/9 mark to 9.64 on the year, still nearly three quarters of a point below his career mark of 10.33.
By Ray Flowers