Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle earned the 200th win of his career on Friday afternoon in a 12-5 victory over the Orioles. He is one of 116 pitchers in baseball history to have won at least 200 games. The lefty allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out two in six innings. He left with an 11-2 lead.
Buehrle, 36, has aged rather well. Since his age-30 season in 2009, the veteran has a 3.83 ERA in 1,243 innings. He’s Jamie Moyer-esque as he averages around 84 MPH on his fastball. Only teammate R.A. Dickey averaged a lower velocity on his fastball last season (82 MPH). Buehrle has succeeded over the years by working quickly — he and Dickey were baseball’s two fastest-working pitchers last year — and limiting walks.
Buehrle has also been durable, pitching 200-plus innings in every season dating back to 2001. He can become a free agent after the season and though he’ll be heading into his age-37 season, he should draw a fair amount of interest given his track record. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him pitch into his 40’s like Moyer.
If Buehrle is able to win at least 13 games this year as he has in five out of the last six seasons, he could finish the season just behind or tied with John Smoltz for 89th all-time on the wins leaderboard with 213. Among active pitchers Tim Hudson currently has the most career wins at 214. CC Sabathia has 208 and Bartolo Colon has 205.
MLB.com’s Alyson Footer reports that the Astros will display the number for the domestic violence hotline on fliers in bathroom stalls at Minute Maid Park. That was one of several efforts the organization committed to in an announcement on Monday. Other efforts include partnering with more than a dozen local and state agencies which advocate for preventing domestic violence.
The Astros Foundation has also donated $214,000 to Family Services of Southeast Texas to complete its women’s center. The Astros Foundation is also donating $10,000 to the Montgomery County Women’s Shelter and will sponsor several fundraisers with The FamilyTime Crisis and Counseling Center, Fort Bend County Women’s Center, Daya, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, and the Houston Area Women’s Center. Furthermore, the Astros Foundation is partnering with AVDA to facilitate the Futures Without Violence Program which “teaches leaders and coaches how to break the cycle of family violence by educating the next generation.”
The Astros’ effort involving the fliers sticks out, though, because a fan was kicked out of Minute Maid Park last month for holding up a sign simply displaying the number for the Houston Area Women’s Center’s domestic violence hotline number. Hopefully, the Astros have reached out to that fan to apologize and make up for an egregious decision.
The Astros are making this effort because the organization has come under tremendous controversy since trading for embattled closer Roberto Osuna earlier this season. On June 22, Osuna was suspended 75 games for violating the league’s domestic violence policy. Osuna had been arrested on May 8 in Toronto and charged with domestic assault. In late September, Osuna showed up in Toronto court and the charges were withdrawn — largely because his accuser did not wish to travel from Mexico to appear in court — and he accepted a peace bond.
In the time since Osuna was acquired, various members of the Astros including Jeff Luhnow, A.J. Hinch, and Ryan Pressly went out their way to defend him from the press and from fans. The Astros’ aforementioned efforts to do right will ring hollow if they continue to bring alleged abusers on board then shield them.
(As I write this, by the way, Osuna just got hammered for five runs in the top of the eighth inning. He gave up a grand slam to Jackie Bradley, Jr. to cap off his disastrous appearance. Does karma exist? Tough to say.)