In Mark Buehrle's last start, the Twins swung early and hit him hard. He was reportedly tipping his pitches based on his glove position. With the problem apparently remedied Friday, the Cubs swung early and rarely hit.
Buehrle allowed only two harmless singles all game en route to a complete game victory. He required just 105 pitches to retire the Cubs, which isn't even close to the most economical outing the Cubs have allowed this year. That honor goes to Clay Hensley, who needed just 92 pitches in his 2-hit shutout on Sunday. So while it was encouraging to see Buehrle have a great start, it has to be tempered with the fact that this is nothing new for the Derek Lee-less Cubs.
I'm not listening to the post-game conferences -- They're pretty brutal with some of the extra reporters covering this series -- but I'm sure there will be some mention made of the strikezone. Rather than complain about the strike zone, however, the Cubs need only look at the disparity between the two teams' approaches at the plate. Even after Greg Maddux left the game, they forced Glendon Rusch to throw a ton of pitches. He needed 48 pitches to get through 2.1 innings, despite only allowing just 2 baserunners. That's the mark of a team being patient, continuously working the count.
Rather than being excited about the win today, I'm merely relieved to see the White Sox play a decent game after a relatively poor road trip. I think I'll feel a little more secure if the Sox can put together solid homestand, stringing together some quality starts. The starting pitching will be our key all year long; and lately that's where we haven't been at our best.