Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle tossed eight shutout innings against the Mariners last night and in doing so surpassed 200 innings on the season for the 14th consecutive year.
And fittingly for the quick-working, soft-tossing southpaw, Wednesday’s game was played in one hour and 59 minutes.
Buehrle joins Christy Mathewson, Warren Spahn, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Don Sutton, and Greg Maddux as the only pitchers since 1900 to throw 200 innings in at least 14 straight seasons.
He’s started 461 straight games without going on the disabled list and has shown no signs of slowing down at age 35, posting a 3.39 ERA for his lowest mark since 2005.
Buehrle has never relied on velocity or strikeouts to get the job done, so he should be able to keep rolling for a while. He’ll go for No. 15 next season, when he’s under contract for $19 million in the final year of a four-year, $58 million deal. And his first win of 2015 will be the 200th of his career.
You might think the Giants-Dodgers rivalry would cloud his opinion, but San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy made it very clear that he believes Clayton Kershaw should be named MVP of the National League in addition to his sure Cy Young award:
The guy’s the best in the game. I don’t know if there’s a more deserving MVP. Forget [the] Cy Young. I mean, those are stupid numbers that he’s putting up.
Hall of Famer Bob Gibson is the last NL pitcher to win the MVP, during his 1.12 ERA season in 1968. And despite leading the league in ERA during each of the previous three seasons Kershaw has never finished higher than seventh in the MVP voting.
Bochy is thoroughly aware of Kershaw’s greatness, both this season and in past seasons, as the Dodgers ace has a 1.43 ERA in 189 career innings against the Giants and he’s been the manager for all of them.
A’s first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss has slumped badly in the second half, hitting just .179 with 63 strikeouts in 54 games, and he revealed to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s been playing through a “bone-on-bone” hip injury for most of the year.
Moss sat out Wednesday’s game after getting a cortisone injection and says he’ll need to undergo offseason surgery to repair torn cartilage because “the shot should help me get through the rest of the season, but it won’t fix it.”
Moss was a fantastic scrap-heap pickup for the A’s in 2012 and 2013, hitting a combined .269 with 51 homers and an .894 OPS in 229 games, and he posted similar numbers in the first half. Playing through the injury has proven to be a horrible decision, as is usually the case.
UPDATE: What a shame. Hamilton suffered what the Reds are calling a “mild concussion” and left the game following his great catch.
Billy Hamilton’s Rookie of the Year case is built around his speed and defense, and the Reds center fielder just robbed Ryan Braun of a homer:
That would have been Braun’s 20th homer of the season.
Cincinnati is sure to buy out Ryan Ludwick for $4.5 million rather than exercise his $9 million option for next season, but the 36-year-old wants to keep playing.
Ludwick indicated to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he recognizes the Reds aren’t likely to want him back and also admitted wherever he does end up “will probably be in a lesser role.”
Ludwick had a big year for the Reds in 2012, but spent most of last season on the disabled list and has hit just .245 with nine homers and a .684 OPS in 110 games this season.
He doesn’t have much defensive value, but Ludwick could be a fit somewhere as a platoon player versus left-handed pitching.