Mark Buehrle Takes It Too Far
Many will blame Mark Buehrle’s perfect streak coming to an end, the five earned runs he gave up in the sixth and seventh innings, and the White Sox 5-3 loss to the Twins on Tuesday night on the most recent Sports Illustrated cover. The SI cover curse or jinx is well documented. SI itself, ran a story on it in 2002, detailing the numerous instances of the curse at work. Even Michael Jordan couldn’t escape the curse.
Yet with Mark Buehrle, things should have been different. He doesn’t believe in the superstitions involved with such things, openly talking about his perfect game in the dugout last week. And through another 17 batters yesterday, Buehrle was still perfect. He looked strong in breaking the previous mark of 41 straight hitters retired, a record held by San Francisco’s Jim Barr (1972) and Buehrle’s teammate Bobby Jenks (2007). What happened next could not have been caused by the SI cover curse. The curse isn’t patient and wouldn’t have allowed Buehrle to continue on in record-setting fashion before rearing its ugly head.
No, instead Buehrle’s breakdown was caused by something that could have been avoided. Had Buehrle not partaken in some pre-game voodoo, we would be talking about him in the same breath as Johnny Van Der Meer (he of the two no-hitters in a row back in 1938).
Just like he did with John Danks’ initials and uniform number in his perfect game start against the Rays, Buehrle etched in his good friend and former teammate, Javier Vazquez’s initials and number into the Metrodome mound on Tuesday. Unfortunately, with his scrawl, Buehrle sealed his fate and subjected Sox fans to a display reminiscent of Vazquez’s 2007 performance with the ball club.
The first two times through the lineup, Buehrle was masterful, mixing his pitches and carrying a no-hitter well into the sixth. But after walking Alexi Casilla, Denard Span, the very first batter to see Buehrle for the third time, laced a single. This was quickly followed by a RBI double from Joe Mauer. Much like Vazquez, it didn’t take long before five runs had been posted by the Twins in their third time through the lineup.
Hopefully Mark Buehrle will discontinue this particular superstition and stick to what he does best.