Two weeks ago, Rany Jazayerli of Grantland suggested Toronto Blue Jays lefty Mark Buehrle has a shot at being baseball’s next 300-game winner. The math isn’t impossible to support; with the 35-year old Buehrle due to surpass 200 wins this year and examples of soft-tossing lefties pitching well into their 40’s, the freakishly durable, quick-working pitcher can continue to ride his superb defense and uncanny pickoff move to victories into the next decade.
Wednesday at Fenway, Buehrle (11-7) was ever himself in pulling down his 197th career victory. He tossed six and 2/3 innings, limiting the Red Sox to a single run while sprinkling six hits and a walk throughout his outing, striking out two. The only run of the night for Boston came on a Christian Vazquez ground-rule double in the fifth that scored Xander Bogaerts. That was it.
With the sensational trade rumors swirling through the late-July Fenway air, Buehrle simply focused on his business in dispatching the Boston bats. Blue Jays hitters, meanwhile, gave the lefthander everything he needed in return.
They sent seven batters to the plate against Brandon Workman (1-4) in the first, and though the young righty eventually escaped, he did not emerge unscathed. Jose Reyes scored on a fielder’s choice in the opening frame after Workman started the contest with two walks. The Jays cashed in another base on balls when Anthony Gose scampered home off a throwing error by Workman in the fifth, and then a Xander Bogaerts error opened the door for twin RBI singles by Dioner Navarro (who had three hits on the night) and Juan Francisco.
Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and Stephen Drew each had two hits for Boston, who again failed to string together any sort of rally. Boston has plated just 18 runs over its last nine games, sporting a record of 1-8 over the stretch, including two shutouts.
Thursday is an off day for Boston, and also happens to be the MLB Trade Deadline. You can follow all the action starting at 8 AM on our live blog.