Mark Buehrle’s magical season continued on Sunday as the 35-year-old lefty fired eight shutout innings against the Royals, limiting them to six hits and a walk while striking out three. The outing bumped up Buehrle’s record to 10-1, making him the first pitcher in baseball to reach the ten-win plateau this season. He also owns a 2.10 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and a 46/20 K/BB ratio in 81 1/3 innings.
Buehrle has been at least one of the three best pitchers in the American League thus far, with Masahiro Tanaka (8-1, 2.06) and Yu Darvish (5-2, 2.08) representing his stiffest competition.
If the season were to end today, Buehrle would be the first starting pitcher to reach double digit wins with an adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) of 150 or better while striking out 15 percent or fewer of batters faced since Greg Maddux and Derek Lowe in 2002, according to Baseball Reference.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays improve to 34-24, their best start since going 35-23 in 1993, according to ESPN Stats & Info. They are enjoying a 3.5-game first place lead over the Yankees in the AL East.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.