Black Jack

Buehrle perfect, Sox on track

There's really not much to say when a guy throws a perfect game that won't be repeated a thousand times from everyone with a typewriter.  But a no-hitter and a perfect game in a career is awesome.  Couldn't happen to a better guy.

I guarantee that Mark was walking through the dugout telling everyone, " hey do you know I have a perfect game going?" He's that kind of teammate.  In other words, don't pay any attention to me, just win the game.  I'll be surprised if we don't learn of this soon.

Anyway, I told you all that the Royals would fade while first revealing the McDowell formula for a championship team.  Now how are we looking?  Buerhle 11-3 w/ a 3.00 ERA and a perfect game = Cy Young potential.  Dye and Konerko still on pace for .300, 30 HR, 100 RBI = MVP votes.

And the all important rookie element in Gordon Beckham who has been quietly productive from the bottom of the order.  The Sox are now one of the few teams who have all the elements of my theory in the American League.

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11 Comments

Jason Gage said:

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Completely agree with you Jack regarding the Sox chances. Sox have an above average trio in Buehrle/Floyd/Danks. In fact, you could make a case that Gavin has been the best of the bunch as he's put up phenomenal numbers over his last 15 starts.

Offensively Dye/Thome/Konerko is a formidable middle of the order and you have Pods/Ramirez producing at the top of the order and a nice rookie combo in Getz/Beckham producing on the back-side.

I'd say the Sox only major concern if (when) they make it to the playoffs is "Team Defense". The pen has three guys you can count on (Jenks/Thorty/Dotel/) and a couple other quality relievers and the 5th starter spot (Richard is a work in process with talent) drops off in the post-season.

TrueSox said:

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Jack, did you ever pitch a no-hitter in college or pros? If not what's the closest you came? By the way, keep exercising your First Amendment rights. It'd be nice if someday we'd get a prez who understands free-market economics because neither Bush 2 nor Obama does. Say, I bet Sarah Palin could've thrown a strike. ... What do you think? First women MLB player will be a knuckleball pitcher? Could it happen?

Jack McDowell said:

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Not in the pro's or college! I threw two no hitters in High School. One would have been perfect except for an error at second base. I took a no hitter into the 8th once in '94 and that was the farthest I went. My one hitter was unique. Paul Molitor lead off the game with a home run at County Stadium. A 2-1 spilt! Are you kidding me! Then I went 27 outs without another hit. Too bad that doesn't count! And the first woman will NOT be a knuckleballer. Believe it or not that is a very tough pitch physically to throw. Think of how strong your arm has to be to do that. It is a gruelling pitch and nobody seems to understand that. That's why there are so few of them.

swinner said:

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Jack, I was at a game where you took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. It was one of the most exciting games I ever witnessed. Being able to see the game today on TV was a treat. Congrats to Mark. What a pro.

Jack McDowell said:

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Did I at least win the game? I just remembered that I took a no hitter into the 8th in Anaheim when I was playing with the Yankees. Chili Davis hit a groundball to Mattingly in the hole between first and second and he bobbled it. I covered first and Mattingly grabbed the ball and quickly flipped to me. The throw was in the dirt and in full stride I picked it on one hop as I touched the bag in a bang bang play. The umpire called safe. Even on replay it could have gone either way. But with a no hitter going you'd think I'd get the nod. Anyway, the next guy doubled off the wall in center and the next guy drove him in with a single. I lost 2-1! I'd take a 7-6 win giving up 12 hits anyday.

Mark Liptak said:

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Perhaps the two best games of Jack's White Sox career:

June 25, 1991 - Sox pitcher “Black” Jack McDowell fires the first shutout for the home team in the new Comiskey Park when he blanks the Mariners 4 - 0. Jack was masterful on the day and carried a no hitter into the 8th inning.

July 14, 1991- It was ‘almost’ a no-hitter with an unusual twist. Sox starter Jack McDowell opened the game at Milwaukee by allowing a leadoff home run by Paul Molitor. It would be the only hit on the day for the Brewers as Jack recorded the next 27 outs without allowing a hit. McDowell allowed only one walk and a base runner via error the rest of the afternoon in the Sox 15 - 1 laugher.

Mark Liptak


swinner said:

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Mark has it right. I kept score that game and still have the program. You gave up two hits in the 8th and one in the 9th. Bradley, Vizquel and O'Brien had the hits. There were two walks prior to that. Ventura, Thomas and Pasqua had HRs for the Sox. As I said, it was pretty exciting. The buzz in the crowd was became noticeably louder as the game went on. I can only imagine how great it was to be at the game yesterday. It was loud in my den, that's for sure.

I really enjoy the blog Jack. Keep up the great work.

Steve

John R said:

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Jack,

Love your column! A few posts back you stated that the first woman pitcher would not be a knuckleballer, due to the physical strength needed to throw it. I'm surprised by this. I thought that a knuckleball was one of the easiest pitches to throw in terms of arm stress. White Sox great Wilbur Wood, a famous knuckleballer, averaged 347 innings pitched per season over a period of four consecutive years. That type of endurance is unheard of today. And here's more from wikipedia:

"Wood's resilience, which was attributed to the less stressful nature of the knuckleball delivery, led to some unusual feats of endurance. On May 28, 1973, while pitching for the White Sox against the Cleveland Indians, Wood pitched the remainder of a 21-inning carryover game that had been suspended two nights earlier, allowing only two hits in five innings to earn the victory. He then started the regularly scheduled game and pitched a four-hit complete game shutout, earning two wins in the same night. Later that season, on July 20, Wood started both ends of a doubleheader, making him the last pitcher to do so."

I thought that the difficulty in throwing the knuckleball was in controlling it--getting it to behave the way you want, with the placement, correct speed and very slow ball spin. That to me makes sense, but at an average of 60 to 70 MPH, knuckleball pitches don't require enormous physical strength in my opinion. Obviously you are far more knowledgeable about such matters than me, so I'm eager to see what your response is.

Thanks! John

Jack McDowell said:

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It takes a lot more stress than folks think. Remember I saw Charlie Hough for those years when he was with us. And, Many pitchers from Woods era threw crazy innings. I could counter with say Nolan Ryan threw 326 and 332 innings in 1973-74. That's just how it worked with a four man. And the reason those innings totals aren't done today has nothing to do with the athletes but rather being allowed to do it.

John R said:

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I see your point, Jack. Another consideration is the longevity of knuckleballers. Other than Phil Niekro, very few of them had long careers, unless used mainly in relief like Wilhelm. And I do remember the 1970's as being a time when pitchers had many more complete games and lots of innings. Another disadvantage of being a knuckleballer that I remember well being a devout White Sox fan from 1959 to now: it's so easy to steal on a knuckleballing pitcher because of the slow pitches and the challenge the catchers faced when trying to handle them--distracting them from being able to make a quick throw to second. I well remember when those oversized mitts were first used by Sox catchers like J.C. Martin and Camilo Carreon. Still a fascinating pitch when delivered by those who mastered it.

Thanks for responding!

Shawn said:

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It is too funny.Thanks for sharing this.Thank you.pass4sure

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