It all starts with starting pitching. That has been the refrain of managers since Abner Doubleday. On Friday night it was Mark Buehrle’s turn to shine and at the end of an 8-0 blanking of the feeble Texas Rangers the question begs, are the Jays finally getting on a bit of a roll? The Jays have now won three in a row, three where their starting pitchers have all gone the minimum of seven innings and that’s a first for the club this season which really is a sad and pathetic statement of fact. They have won six of their past eight and now sit 30-36, marking the first time since April 26 that they have been six games under .500. The short-term goal of the Jays is to get to .500 by the all-star break that begins July 15. They have 28 games remaining before the break and that means they needed to go 17-11 through July 15 for them to hit that target. To do that they need more starts like the past two they have received from Buehrle, now 3-4 with an ERA that dipped from 5.06 to 4.66 with the seven shutout innings. In his back-to-back starts against the Rangers he has allowed just one earned run through 14 innings. “I’m in a groove right now,” Buehrle said. “Hopefully it won’t change but I can’t really pinpoint one thing what’s going on.” The key for Buehrle when he gets into a groove? “Strike one, getting ahead in the count,” he replied. “I don’t know how many fastballs I threw tonight but everything off-speed was working. They were chasing stuff and putting the ball in play. I can’t really pinpoint why I’ve had success these past seven starts.” The Rangers are going through a dreadful hitting funk right now, something the Jays have taken advantage of in their first two games here. “He worked fast, changed speeds, threw strikes,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Buehrle. “He was just slicing and dicing. I don’t know if that was one of his better games, but he certainly was good against us tonight.” Actually he’s pretty good against the Rangers every time out as with the win he improved to 13-5 lifetime against them. As for the team turning a corner, Buehrle would like to see a few more wins take place first.
Blue Jays, Buehrle beat up Rangers 8-0
Toronto Sun | Jun 15