Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle works fast on the mound and talks fast everywhere so he can scoot from the ballpark as quickly as possible in order to beat the traffic and explore his interests outside of Major League Baseball.
Buehrle likes to hunt, he likes to fish and he likes to raise his pet dogs — the ones they allow inside of Ontario, anyhow. And, being a country boy from St. Charles, Mo. outside of St. Louis, he likes his pickup truck and he likes country music. So, with genre superstar Tim McGraw playing a gig at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre — a mere three kilometers from the Rogers Centre where the Jays play — Buehrle made up his mind to dispose of his opponent ASAP on Thursday night.
Buehrle pitched a two-hitter against the Houston Astros in a brisk 2 hours, 18 minutes and ended Toronto's seven-game losing streak in a 4-0 victory. And then Buehrle broke into manager John Gibbons' postgame press conference because he had to go, darn it, to beat the gridlock along Lake Ontario.
Via the Associated Press:
''Grandparents are here to watch the kids, so let's go,'' Buehrle said.
With the Jays playing, along with McGraw and national hero Justin Bieber at the Air Canada Centre in a tight space on the same night, Buehrle knew he had to hurry if he wanted to see Tug McGraw's kid sing. But hurrying is Buehrle's modus operandi. That's when he's at his best; keeping the other team off balance and his own defense at the ready.
''He was just marvelous,'' teammate Adam Lind said. ''He threw the heck out of the baseball.''
Buehrle pitched his ninth career shutout, and first since throwing a perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2009.
''That's typical Buehrle,'' Gibbons said. ''When he's on, when he's hitting his spots and he's got that good changeup. I thought he did a real good job of pitching some right-handers inside to keep them honest.''
The complete game was the 29th of Buehrle's career but just the second of the season for the Blue Jays.
That's great, but the curtains are going up. We've got to jet.
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