The Toronto Blue Jays will have to endure a losing season in 2013, which again shows how tough life is in the AL East Division. It’s never been easy being in the same division with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, and occasional outstanding efforts from the other divisional teams makes it even tougher.
But when the Blue Jays look back at this season, they can still look at some positives. They definitely can’t feel bad about the effort they got from 34-year-old veteran Mark Buehrle. If there’s a Mr. Dependable title that should go with any pitcher, Buehrle deserves high consideration. He’s money in the bank, and his performance usually isn’t bad either.
Buehrle has now pitched more than 200 innings for 13 straight seasons. He started this streak in 2001. He has 428 consecutive starting appearances without having been placed on the disabled list. With the endless number of things that can afflict a pitcher when he’s performing in MLB, Buehrle’s performance is nothing less than awesome.
Buehrle has had 10 wins or more every season since 2001, and his ERA has been in the low 4s nine times. His record this season is 12-9 with at least one more start to come. That’s an admirable record with a team a dozen games below the .500 mark.
Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees has announced his retirement for the end of the season. Buehrle, by putting in another season, could eventually become the active leader in starts and innings among major league pitchers. With one exception, Buehrle hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in his last eight appearances. The Blue Jays would have struggled even more this season without Buehrle.