Mark Buehrle needs an MRI

  • Mark Buehrle hasn't had an outing in which he allowed fewer hits than innings pitched since June 15th.
  • Buehrle has allowed double-digit hits in 5 of his last 16 starts.
IP H R ER HR BB K ERA Since May 1 103.1 133 74 64 16 28 50 5.57 Since July 1 26.2 47 36 34 8 5 15 11.48
At this point, a revelation from the White Sox that Mark Buehrle is injured would be about as surprising as Lance Bass coming out of the closet. It was plainly obvious for all to see, and the only people in denial about it are those closest to the situation. -- I mean I actually hope Buehrle is injured, because the alternative is that he just plain forgot how to pitch, or no longer has that little extra deception that he needs to be an effective pitcher without top-of-the-rotation stuff. It would at least give me something tangible to blame for his ineffectiveness.

As it is, with no news coming from the White Sox medical staff and Buehrle holding 'I just suck right now' press conferences after every start, the Sox are in trouble. The Sox starting staff consists of a guy who can't get through the third time through the order, a guy who makes El Duque look like a fireballer, Buehrle, who, as I said, I hope is injured, and two major league pitchers. It's just like 2002-2004 all over again, except now we're paying $10M/yr to our three 5th starters.

* * * * *

A few days ago, before the MacDougal and Alomar acquisitions, I was going to post an open letter to Kenny urging him to stand pat, mostly because I felt the Sox were in pretty good shape to make the playoffs this season. I still think Kenny should shy away from his cell phone and Blackberry, but for a little different reason now. I honestly don't think the Sox can make the playoffs without a complete turnaround from their pitching staff, and I've seen nothing over the last month that indicates that turnaround is on the horizon.

That doesn't mean I'm giving up on the season. I've just revised my expectations. I don't think anyone could have predicted that Jon Garland would have the second best ERA on the staff at 4.78 less than a week before the calendar turns to August. No team can win without pitching, as the Sox are finding out right now.

Kenny has built this team to compete for a division title and championship both this year and next. With the entire starting staff locked up through '07 and not a single starter reaching free agency until then, his best move right now may be conceding that he's done everything he can; the guys on the field just haven't performed to expectations. That's not his fault. There's only so much he can do.

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