Mark Buehrle to go out with 200-inning season

For the past 15 seasons, there has been one constant in Major League Baseball. No matter what else is going on around the league, pencil Toronto Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle in for 200 innings. The 36-year-old left-hander has logged 14 consecutive 200-inning seasons since becoming a full-time starter in 2001. In the timeframe that Buehrle has logged his 200-inning seasons, he is the only pitcher in the league with double digit 200-inning seasons. Jame Shields is the closest competitor with nine such seasons since entering the league in 2006.

Buehrle’s streak looked to be in jeopardy this year, as he came up two innings short of 200 following his last start on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. Buehrle has struggled to pitch effectively at times this season, and it appeared that decline in performance would serve to break his streak. Last night, however, news broke out of Toronto that Buehrle would log the necessary two innings in Sunday’s game and then retire.

This is an interesting end to Buehrle’s career. He had been considering retirement for the past few seasons, and 2015 seemed like a logical year to hang up the spikes. Surprisingly, however, it does not appear Buehrle will make the Blue Jays postseason roster. Most did not expect Buehrle to make the postseason rotation, but he could have been a useful arm out of the bullpen, especially in long and middle relief. With the fact established that Buehrle will not pitch in the postseason, allowing him to go out and chase his 200th inning seems like a fair way to celebrate what has been a great career.

In 517 big league games spanning 16 seasons, Buehrle has won 214 games while posting a 3.81 ERA. He is a five-time All-Star who won four Gold Gloves. Buehrle was considered by many to be the best fielding pitcher in the league throughout his career. Buehrle spent 12 seasons with the Chicago White Sox where he won a World Series in 2005 and threw a perfect game in 2009.

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