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Mark Buehrle

Hall -of-famer?

Here are the pitchers from the modern era who have thrown a no-hitter and a perfect game in their careers: Jim Bunning, Randy Johnson, Addie Joss, Sandy Koufax and Cy Young.

All but Randy Johnson are in the Hall of Fame (and the Unit will join them soon enough), which begs the question: has Mark Buerhle solidified his status as a HOF pitcher?

His career numbers are certainly respectable (133-90 over a 10-year career), but are nothing that would make him stand out over other great pitchers of the past decade. Except, of course, for those no-no’s and the fact that he was a central part of a World Series championship in 2005.

For his part, Buehrle doesn’t even want to think about it, from Mark Gonzaelz “Hardball” blog:

“I think I got to do a lot more in this game to be thought of in that category,” Buehrle said. “Obviously it’s an honor for people to even mention that. I got (133) wins now. I need a lot more wins and a lot more stuff in this game to be mentioned there.”

Speaking to the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley, Guillen said he thinks the bar for Hall of Fame induction will get lower:

“Hall of Fame is going to need people to get in,” Guillen said. “You will see people in with 200 wins, 220 or 250. There’s no doubt. You have to. I don’t think any pitcher is going to last long enough to win 300 games.”

And Rob Neyer agrees that Buehrle is good, but thnks he’s not that good:

Buehrle’s career ERA is roughly 23 percent better than the American League average during his 10 seasons. That’s really, really good. That’s better than Bob Feller, Eddie Plank, Juan Marichal, Don Drysdale, and various other Hall of Famers. It’s better than CC Sabathia,Josh BeckettJake PeavyAndy Pettitte, and John Lackey.

But would Joe Fan or Rob Blogger put Buehrle on the same level with those stars?

Probably not, because Buehrle just hasn’t done the sorts of things that get one mentioned among such notables. He has never won 20 games, and has won more than 16 games just once. He has been mentioned in the Cy Young results just once (finishing a distant fifth in 2005). With two notable exceptions — first the no-hitter, and now this — he’s never been particularly overpowering.

So what do we make of it…

[poll id="30"]

6 Responses to “Is Mark Buehrle a Hall of Famer?”

  1. Although pitching a Perfect Game is a great accomplishment,( 18 total in history) a 20 strike-out game has only been done by two players in history, Roger Clemons and Kerry Wood … this would suggest to be much more rare ….

  2. melissa says:

    Neyer is correct in saying that Buehrle isn’t overpowering but that’s kind of what makes him impressive. Yesterday he painted a pitching masterpiece. In his perfect game he wasn’t blowing batters away but he was getting batters out by using pin-point location and changing speeds. It also helped that Wise made a spectacular catch behind him but that was really the only defensive play of note.

    If Buehrle was capable of throwing really hard and striking guys out it would seem to me that it would actually be easier for him to record a perfect game. Buehrle can’t fall back on an overpowering fastball when he gets in a tough situation. To me pitching is a more difficult skill when a pitcher doesn’t throw hard. It’s hard to believe that Buehrle has pitched three games in which he faced only 27 batters yet he’s not a strike out pitcher.

    Buehrle is a very good pitcher but he’s not Hall of Fame worthy simply because he’s thrown a no-hitter and a perfect game. He’s going to have to get his win total up over 240 most likely if he wants to get in because he’s never been a dominant pitcher in his era. Since Buehrle’s never really been great he’s going to have to be very good for a long period of time. I also think he’s a guy that could win 300 if he really wanted to dedicate himself to playing that long. He’s said he doesn’t want to continue his career for that many years so 300 seems unlikely.

  3. Nick Kapur says:

    I kind of dislike all these are-they-a-hall-of-famer discussions so early along in a guy’s career. Mark Buehrle is still only 30 years old. It’s just too early to tell.

    Since getting in the hall of fame is really really hard, it’s generally a safe bet to say that he won’t make it. That said, he does have an outside shot, because he already has 133 wins, which is kind of a lot for a 30 year old.

    If we think it through we can see that 300 wins is not totally out of the question. Again Mark Buehrle is still only 30, and he got an early start in the majors. So far in his career he has averaged 14 wins per season. Let’s say he wins 7 more games this year, bringing his total to 140. If he then pitches 10 more seasons until he is age 40 and can maintain his 14 wins per season average, he would be at 280 wins, which is spitting distance from 300. If he were to actually get to 280, he could easily just hang on for a few more seasons and get there. It’s been done before.

    The question is, how likely is Buehrle to average 14 wins over the next 10 seasons? Obviously, it is more unlikely than likely, given the possibilities of injury and decline. But it’s not outrageously impossible. Lots of pitchers have done it before, even in recent years. And Buehrle is helped somewhat by the fact that he’s not a power pitcher, so he’s already proven he can get by using the craftiness and guile that is needed to be successful in older years.

    I also think it’s kind of lame of Neyer to point out that Buehrle has never won 20 games. Again, for something like the fifth time in this comment, Buehrle is still only 30 years old. He’s already won 19 games in his career, and he is on pace to win 18 this season. I could easily see him winning 20 games at some point. Also, 20-win seasons have dropped precipitously in recent years, with the advent of rampant pitchcountery. I’m not so sure the 20-win season is going to remain the gold standard of single-season pitching excellence much longer.

  4. robert tyson says:

    I was thinking about this earlier before I read the article. To this point, I would not have considered him. I think that he’ll need at least one, maybe two of the following:

    *240 wins
    *Another no-hitter
    *A Cy Young
    *Another World Championship

  5. I think Neyer’s point about Buehrle never having been even a candidate for a Cy Young is a good one. Voters like hardware.

  6. BravesFan says:

    “Buehrle to Consider Retirement After 2011 Season”

    I read this at the onset of the season and was shocked to say the least. Still, if Buehrle does drop out of the majors after 2011, there is no chance he will sniff the HOF.

    http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/feb/16/sports/chi-16-rogers-white-soxfeb16

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