April 15, 2013 in Sports

Bracing for Buehrle

From Wire Reports
Associated Press photo

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle will face his former club, the Chicago White Sox, for the first time.
(Full-size photo)

By the numbers

5: Wild pitches thrown by Cubs pitchers Edwin Jackson and Michael Bowden in the sixth inning, tying a major league record.

.662: Win percentage for Phillies ace Roy Halladay (200-102) after picking up career win No. 200, leading all active pitchers.

The White Sox and Mark Buehrle have more in common than their 12-year association that ended after the 2011 season.

Both parties are struggling so far in 2013, and Chicago slugger Paul Konerko knows his former teammate will pull out all the stops tonight when he faces the Sox in the first game of a four-game series at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

“You’ve got to be ready,” Konerko said. “He might throw an eephus pitch or something like that. He’s not afraid to screw around out there.”

At the same time, the Sox know Buehrle’s current 10.24 ERA is misleading because they’ve seen him rebound from poor seasons or subpar starts.

Each time Buehrle rebounded, he was rewarded with a lucrative contract – including his current four-year, $58 million contract after he left the Sox for free agency.

“A lot of people talk about Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, unbelievably elite pitchers,” said Matt Thornton, a Sox teammate of Buehrle from 2006-11. “I think Mark Buehrle, to this day, is one of the better bargains in baseball for what he’s done in his career.

“It’s going to be awkward having him out there pitching for Toronto, but more than anything it will be when he comes to our place (June 10-12). It will be totally different.”

Buehrle’s popularity with the Sox runs deeper than his 161 victories, which includes a no-hitter and a perfect game, as well as a save in the White Sox’s Game 3 World Series win over the Astros in 14 innings.

Said Jake Peavy: “We all love Mark Buehrle, but (tonight) we’ve got to go out and get him and hang out with him afterward. Hopefully after a White Sox win.”

Padres’ Quentin drops appeal

San Diego Padres slugger Carlos Quentin dropped his appeal and began serving an eight-game suspension for rushing the mound and inciting a brawl in which Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke broke his left collarbone.

With the suspension starting with Sunday’s game against Colorado, Quentin will miss the Padres’ three-game series at L.A. starting tonight.

Marlins’ Kearns hospitalized

Marlins reserve outfielder Austin Kearns was taken to a Miami hospital with an irregular heartbeat before Sunday’s game, and the team said he would be kept overnight for observation.

Kearns was originally in the lineup against Philadelphia, but after arriving at the ballpark he complained he didn’t feel well and went to a hospital for evaluation.

Further tests were planned, manager Mike Redmond said.

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