Just to preface this post to eliminate any confusion, I started typing this while the game was in the 8th inning and things did not look good for my guys. I ran with it until the end of the game. After the game was over, I took some deep breaths, knocked my head against the wall a little bit, and typed the rest of this post. Enjoy?
The Rays and White Sox have just completed the top of the 8th inning with Sox hurler Mark Buehrle refusing to give up a hit. Or a walk. Or a baserunner.
He has a no-no/perfect game going as they head into the bottom of the 8th and it doesn’t look good for the Rays.
They will sent Gabe Kapler, Michel Hernandez, and Jason Bartlett to the plate in the top of the 9th with the hopes of avoiding being no hit.
If the home plate umpire Eric Cooper continues to give Buehrle 5 inches off the outside part of the plate I don’t see how the Rays will be able to break up this impressive performance by Buehrle.
(Incidently, Cooper also called the no hitter that Buehrle threw against Texas in 2007, so…)
I’ll let you know how the inning progresses when we get there.
Top of the 9th (“Live”)
Chicago has moved Podsednik to left and put Wise in center to bolster the defense for Buehrle.
I’m nervous. Here we go…
Gabe Kapler–HE GAVE IT A RIDE TO LEFT FIELD!! IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A HOME RUN BUT DEWAYNE WISE JUST ROBBED A HOME RUN! OH MY GAWD!!!
Michel Hernandez–just struck out.
Jason Bartlett–Ground out to SS.
Perfect Game is Done!!!!
Much respect to Mark Buehrle on the PERFECT GAME!
(Below: Buehrle with his wife and baby boy)
Quick Game Recap
Well, now that I’ve had a few minutes to come in off the ledge and get my wits about me, I just have a few things to say about today’s game.
Mark Buehrle deserved the spoils of his labor today. He pitched an amazing game, working both sides of the plate and keeping the Rays hitters off balance. It is tough to give too many kudos to the guy, but he earned his perfect game today.
I would be remiss, however, if I ignored the fact that home plate umpire Eric Cooper was part of helping to keep the Rays off balance today. As I said earlier, Cooper was giving Buehrle (and Kazmir, by the way) 3-5 inches off the outside part of the plate. Many “strikes” were just terrible calls.
Good pitchers realize that and take advantage of that. Kazmir did not. Buehrle did. I’m not taking anything away from the ChiSox pitcher. He did what a really good pitcher such as him should do.
Good hitters also adjust. The Rays did not. They did not adjust their stances by moving closer to the plate to take away that outside edge nor did they protect against that part of the plate.
Buehrle struck out 6 Rays hitters. What was more frustrating in this game was that he induced ground ball after ground ball to Alexei Ramirez at short, meaning that the pull-happy right handed Rays hitters were trying to pull everything to the left side of the infield.
The Rays had not been no-hit since 2002 when the OTHER Sox did it to them: Boston’s Derek Lowe.
As I said in an earlier post: I HATE LOSING TO THE SOX. WHITE, RED, DOESN’T MATTER!
I might save this for a future post, but it is incredibly upsetting that the Rays thought they had upgraded their offense against left handed pitching in the offseason. It was their Achilles heel last year and really hurt them in the World Series against the Phillies.
So they got Gabe Kapler and Pat Burrell.
Wow, that worked.
The Rays are now 16-21 against lefties this year. Terrible.
The Road Ain’t Gettin’ Any Easier
Tampa Bay will head to Toronto today to prepare for a weekend series against the Blue Jays. Who’s waiting for them there?
Ordinarily I would go into the series with confidence, considering the Rays are 2-0 against him this year. But coming off a series such as this one, and a perfect game to boot, I am not as thrilled.
Then it will be the New York Yankees for 3 at the start of next week at the Trop. That is going to be a very difficult series as the Yanks have just dominated teams over the last week plus.
But it isn’t supposed to be easy. We’ll see what the Rays have got in the tank the next 6 games.
The AL East, and the Rays’ place in it, will certainly come into more focus over the next week or so.
Let’s hope the Rays won’t be left behind.