It is spring training, afterall (Yes, we’ll be using that excuse all month).
The Royals jumped on Buehrle early and often today, pounding out nine hits and charging him with five runs in three innings of work.
Buehrle has faced Kansas City countless times over his career, and he’s really not that tough to figure out. He’s going to work quickly and he’s going to throw strikes. So what did the Royals do? They swung at the first pitch. A lot.
And that’s just how it goes with Buehrle. He’s not going to strike a ton of people out. You’re either going to get a hit or you’re going to get yourself out.
K.C. infielder Mike Aviles, who was 3-for-3 today, noted that Buehrle wasn’t the same guy he expects to see when April rolls around.
It’s spring. He was throwing more balls over the heart of the plate, which is not him. Normally he’s on the corners but he was leaving a couple balls up.
This was Buehrle’s second start of the spring, his first time using all of his pitches.
A couple [starts like this] during spring, a couple during the season. It’s one of those things where you give up a lot of hits, but location-wise I felt good. I might have missed a couple of spots. I felt good with everything throwing. Just a couple found holes with guys on base and they hit a couple of them hard. It was just one of those games I was glad to get out down here.
Anyone who knows Buehrle’s pitching KNOWS that we’ll sit through several games like this during the season, but more often than not he’s the guy we saw in his first start of the spring. He’s still working on his pitches. Location will start to come around in his next few starts.
With a supporting cast that consists of John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Edwin Jackson and maybe, hopefully, CROSS YOUR FINGERS SOX FANS, Jake Peavy, it’s not like Buehrle needs to be the guy who wins 16 or 17 games at the front end of the rotation to carry the team on his shoulders. He’ll have plenty of help.