Mark Buehrle made his second-to-last start of the season last night, picking up the victory with six innings of two-run ball against the Indians, but before taking the mound the impending free agent talked about his uncertain future.
Buehrle is coming to the end of a four-year, $52 million contract and the 32-year-old southpaw is having a typically solid season, but he hasn’t even decided if he’ll pitch at all in 2012, let alone whether he’ll re-sign with the White Sox:
It all depends on what the White Sox want to do. They spent a lot of money this year, and we didn’t do a good job of getting where we want to get to. It all depends on what they want to do. If they want to go young and sign some young guys and got some guys in the bullpen they want to start, then they’ll go that route. But it’s on them.
As for making possibly his final home start for the White Sox next week, Buehrle told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune: “I’m going out there like I’m coming back next year and not try to make a big deal of it.”
After watching him for the past 12 seasons fans at Comiskey Park may feel differently.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.