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What's wrong with Mark Buehrle?

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There's no denying there's something wrong with Mark Buehrle. Here's what he's done since receiving pitcher of the month honors back in June.

IP H R K BB RA/9 Mark Buehrle 52.0 65 34 23 12 5.88
That does not look like the line of a healthy front of the rotation starter. Whether he's hurt or just going through a dead arm period, or just plain unlucky, this is not the Mark Buehrle we have come to know and love.

Here is a look at Mark's rate stats since he joined the rotation, along with what he's done since June.

K/9 BB/9 K/BB H/9 2001 5.12 1.95 2.63 7.64 2002 5.05 2.30 2.20 8.89 2003 4.65 2.38 1.95 9.77 2004 6.05 1.87 3.24 9.43 2005 5.22 1.48 3.52 8.91 >June 3.98 2.07 1.91 11.25
Perhaps I am overracting, and that is likely the case, as I've had a few Honeyweiss' tonight and am still angry about the loss, but compare the after June rate stats to those of Mark's lost season in 2003. They are alarmingly similar, and that doesn't bode well for the Sox and their hopes of going deep in the playoffs.

There is one rate stat that I left out (HR/9), and in that category Mark has done extremely well this season. So well, in fact, that I don't think it's sustainable. You don't cut down on your walks, strike out fewer batters, and expect to lower your HR totals.

Mark is currently a pitcher who is relying on his defense far too much. This is why he's allowed so many unearned runs (9) since June.

The enlightened baseball fan will tell you that, as a pitcher, you can't control the number of hits on balls in play. That is, the only thing the pitcher can control is walks, strikeouts, and home runs. In other words, Mark is fine, he's just been unlucky. But it's hard for me to believe that when I'm on my 5th drink of the night, and I'm watching rope after rope being laid out, and even the outs are hit hard.

I suppose when I sober up I'll feel a little bit better, but I'm sure that I'll still be a tad apprehensive about what the future holds for Buehrle.