If the 2010 season was to begin next week, the always confident and reliable Mark Buehrle probably believes he would be ready to throw 100 pitches. The Sox veteran was able to get through four innings, giving up three runs and nine hits on Monday night against the Royals.
“I felt great,” Buehrle said. “I’m kind of surprised I got that many hits, but location-wise, I was 100 percent better than the last time. Last game, I was trying to command down the middle, today I was hitting my locations as good as I could have.”
The joke heard around the clubhouse every spring training is that Buehrle’s shoulder is sore and that he won’t be able to pitch on Opening Day. Of course it’s a joke, because Buerhle will be starting a White Sox-record eighth Opening Day on April 5, had 10 days between starts and was still able to throw 69 pitches against Kansas City.
“I just need to build innings up,” Buehrle said.
Asked if he’s back on and every fifth-day throwing routine, Buehrle smiled and quipped, “Yes, unless my arms hurt tomorrow.”
The White Sox Opening Day starter will have three more spring training starts and then get six days off before he opens the season against Cleveland on April 5.
“No,“ Buehrle said. “I think we can get to the playoffs, and once we get to the playoffs, anything can happen, but everybody needs to be healthy. I’m not going to say we’re a World Series team, and that we’re going to win the World Series. Anything can happen, but that’s our goal.”