How fast does Mark Buerhle work?

“He works so fast that you can’t write anything in your notebook,” said Houston Astros pro scout Paul Riccarini. “If you do, you miss seeing his next pitch.”

He works so fast that three of the 20 Astros hitters Buerhle faced Tuesday stepped out of the batter’s box to slow him down.

He’s so fast that he and Seattle Mariners’ Ryan Franklin hooked up in a 2-1 Chicago White Sox win in 2005 which took all of one hour 39 minutes.

There had not been a quicker game since the Jays’ Jim Clancy faced Frank Viola of the Minnesota Twins Sept. 28, 1982.

“Buerhle was enjoyable to work when you had the plate,” said Richie Garcia, who umped the American League for 25 years and was at the Jays-Astros game on Tuesday.

“He throws strikes, gets lot of double-play ground balls. He works so fast that it doesn’t matter if he gets hit or not.”

And Buerhle was hit in the third inning allowing five hits, including a two-run homer by Brandon Barnes, and four runs.

Buerhle threw a pitch every 18 seconds against the Astros, whose starter Jordan Lyles fired plateward every 31 seconds.

In his previous start, Buerhle was a tick over 19 seconds against the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose starter James McDonald checked in at 24 seconds.

The Ergonomic and Champion Sports stop watches were borrowed from pro scouts.

The thumbs and fingers were all mine.

“Mark DeRoza told me this spring that when he was with the Washington Nationals last year, the book on me was not to allow me get into a rhythm,” said Buerhle.