Tag Archives: perfect game

White Sox to Retire Mark Buehrle’s Number

The Chicago White Sox announced that they will retire the jersey #56 in a special ceremony this June. The jersey number is being retired in honor of longtime pitcher Mark Buehrle.
Buehrle was the ChiSox’s 38th round pick in the 1998 MLB Amateur Draft out of Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Missouri.
He shot through the club’s minor league system, making his big league debut on July 16, 2000, with an inning of relief against the Milwaukee Brewers at Comiskey Park.
Just three days later, Buehrle drew his first starting assignment at the Metrodome against the host Minnesota Twins.
In what would become a typically efficient Buehrle outing, he earned the win that night. The lefty lasted seven innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits while striking out five and walking just one batter.
It was the beginning of a fantastic career. Buehrle would pitch out of the White Sox rotation for the next 11 seasons. He made the AL All-Star team four times during the period, and won a pair of Gold Glove Awards.

BUEHRLE HELPS END WORLD SERIES DROUGHT

Buehrle’s best season came in 2005 when he led the American League in innings pitched for a second consecutive season. He produced a career-best 3.12 ERA with a 1.183 WHIP, and finished fifth in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
That fall, Buehrle played a vital role as the ChiSox drove to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 88 years. He pitched well in winning Game 2 of the ALDS, ALCS and Fall Classic.
Then in Game 3 of that 2005 World Series, Chicago skipper Ozzie Guillen brought Buehrle out of the bullpen on no rest at the game’s pivotal moment.
Up 2-0 in the series, the ChiSox had scored twice in the top of the 14th to take a 7-5 lead over the host Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros had two men on and two out when Williams brought him in to face Adam Everett. Buehrle got Everett to pop out to shortstop on a 1-1 pitch, nailing down the victory that gave Chicago a series stranglehold. They would win the crown a day later.
Buehrle would accumulate a 161-119 record during his 12 seasons with the White Sox. He had a 3.83 ERA and 1.282 WHIP, and allowed just 2.0 BB/9 in those years.
That control was Buehrle’s calling card. During an era in which throwing hard was becoming increasingly valued, Buehrle was the stereotypical crafty left-hander.

BUEHRLE MAKES HISTORY – TWICE

Despite pitching mostly to contact during his career, Buehrle was able to produce a pair of dominating, historic gems.
The first of these came when he pitched a no-hitter on April 18, 2007. That night at U.S. Cellular Field against the visiting Texas Rangers, there was just one blemish on Buehrle’s ledger. It came when he walked Sammy Sosa on a 3-1 pitch with one out in the top of the fifth inning. Buehrle then promptly picked Sosa off first base, and completed the no-hitter.
On Thursday, July 23, 2009, and again at U.S. Cellular Field in front of the home fans in Chicago, there would be no blemishes. That day, Buehrle would toss just the 18th perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball.
Buehrle retired all 27 batters who stepped to the plate for the Tampa Bay Rays that afternoon, inducing Jason Bartlett to ground out to shortstop for the final out. It was the first “perfecto” by a ChiSox hurler in 87 years.
Chicago pitching coach Don Cooper was interviewed by Colleen Kane for The Chicago Tribune. Cooper described Buehrle as follows:
“Everybody in every sport is enamored with velocity, and he was the opposite of that,” Cooper said. “He did it first by location, second movement, three changing speeds. …
“Nothing bothered him. He was the same every day, on and off the field. Steady performer, steady guy. He maybe shook off eight times in 10 years. What that tells you is I have confidence, belief and conviction behind the pitch.”

BUEHRLE MOVES ON, ENDS HIS CAREER

Despite making at least 30 starts and topping the 200-inning mark in every one of his 11 full seasons with Chicago, the club let him walk away as a 33-year-old free agent after the 2011 season.
Buehrle signed a one-year deal in December 2011 with a Miami Marlins team that appeared to be trying to put together a winner. It didn’t work out, and a year later the Fish decided to break things up. Buehrle was dealt away to the Toronto Blue Jays as part of a 12-player deal.
Finishing up his career with three more solid seasons north of the border, Buehrle also added on another Gold Glove in Miami, and another AL All-Star appearance while in Toronto.
For 16 years, Buehrle was one of the most consistent, reliable pitchers in baseball. And in a dozen years with the White Sox he was one of the best. Now he will become the 12th player in team history to have his uniform number retired to immortality.

Bunning Trade: Arrival of a Hall of Famer

Jim Bunning proved one of best trades ever for Phillies
On this date just over a half-century ago, the up and coming Philadelphia Phillies made one of the better trades in their long history.
On December 4th, 1963 the Phils sent outfielder Don Demeter and pitcher Jack Hamilton to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for starting pitcher Jim Bunning and catcher Gus Triandos.
Bunning was already a 9-year veteran at that point. With the Tigers from 1955-63 he pitched more than 1,800 innings while fashioning a 118-87 record with a 3.45 ERA. He made 5 American League All-Star teams, and threw a no-hitter during the 1958 season.
Ultimately Bunning would have two stints with the Phillies. In that first post-trade stint over four years from 1964-67 the righty went 74-46 with a 2.48 ERA, striking out 992 batters in 1,191.2 innings.
Bunning was an NL All-Star twice during those years, nearly helped lead the 1964 star-crossed club to the NL Pennant, and pitched a Perfect Game on Father’s Day that year. He came in 2nd in the 1967 NL Cy Young Award voting.
Bunning pitched a Perfect Game with the Phillies on Father's Day 1964
He would finish up his career with two final Phillies seasons in 1970-71, including pitching the Opening Game in the history of Veteran’s Stadium, a 4-1 win over the Montreal Expos.
Of the other players involved in that original trade, Triandos served as the Phils backup catcher for two seasons. 
In Detroit, Hamilton made just 9 appearances over two seasons. He would go 21-27 over 6 seasons for 5 different teams. Demeter hit just .262 with 58 homers for 3 teams in 4 years after the deal.
No matter how you slice it, the trade for Jim Bunning 51 years ago today goes down easily as one of the best in Phillies history. Bunning would be honored with a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, have his uniform number 16 retired with the Phils, and is a member of the club’s own Wall of Fame.

Roy Halladay Is Perfect

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Doc was all smiles on his perfect night in South Florida

Florida Marlins’ catcher Ronnie Paulino smashed a ball into the hole between 3rd base and shortstop, and for a brief moment everyone watching the game at Sun Life Stadium, players and fans who were in attendance as well as those of us watching at home here in Philly on television, held our collective breaths.

There had been two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when Paulino came to bat, and the Philadelphia Phillies new ace starting pitcher Roy Halladay had a ‘perfect game’ going.

This meant not a single batter had reached base during the game. Against the Phillies ace, 26 men had come to the plate with a bat in their hands that night for the Fish. All 26 had returned to the dugout having made an out. No hits and no walks. No one had reached on an error.

So history was in the offing when Paulino struck the ball.

There had been only 19 perfect games in the history of Major League Baseball going back well over a century. There had been just one in Phillies franchise history. That was pitched by Hall of Famer Jim Bunning on Father’s Day in 1964.

As Paulino’s smash left his bat, playing third base was the Phillies regular backup shortstop, Juan Castro. Castro had been inserted as a defensive replacement for regular 3rd baseman Placido Polanco. The move would prove a stroke of genius by manager Charlie Manuel.

Castro quickly ranged to his left, stabbed the hard shot grounder, wheeled, and gunned a throw to first baseman Ryan Howard. The throw beat Paulino easily, and Halladay’s historic night of perfection was complete.

The usually calm and reserved Halladay let loose with a big smile as he was embraced by catcher Carlos Ruiz and the rest of his teammates on the mound.

Back in the locker room, his teammates called on him to make a speech. Halladay simply pointed at Ruiz and said “Chooch is the man!”, referring to Ruiz’ nickname and the fact that the catcher had called pitches during the game.

Ruiz later said that he had learned some lessons regarding the Marlins hitters during an effective start the previous night by Kyle Kendrick. Ruiz decided that he would utilize those lessons in calling Halladay’s start.

Whatever it was that Chooch picked up, it worked, and Doc delivered by executing his pitches to perfection. He rarely left the ball out over the plate, needed just a couple of big defensive plays, and struck out a number of hitters on the night.

The Phillies traded for Roy Halladay in the off-season to become a bona fide ace for the Phillies rotation. He has lived up to every bit of the expectations that a veteran former Cy Young Award winner can bring with him.

Though the Phils have struggled somewhat with injuries and inconsistent play, they remain on top of the National League to this point. Halladay is the main reason. He makes the Phillies favorites to win every fifth day. On this particular fifth day, Roy Halladay was perfect.