Tonight's starter: Mark Buehrle

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Mark Buehrle signed a four-year, $58 million contract with the Marlins this offseason. (David Kohl/AP Photo)

A quick look at Mark Buehrle, who takes the mound against Joe Blanton tonight.

The 33-year-old Buehrle signed a four-year, $58 million contract with the Marlins this offseason, ending a 12-year career with the White Sox. The veteran lefty is very much a throwback, having logged at least 200 innings in each of his 11 seasons as a starter. He is one of 33 players since integration to log at least 11 200+ inning seasons. While he does not have swing-and-miss stuff, it will be interesting to see how the move to the National League impacts his career strikeout rate of 5.1-per-nine innings. Buehrle is an interesting pitcher because he does not have the great ground ball rate -- 0.86 is solid, but not much above league average -- the great home run rate -- 1.0 per nine innings -- you would expect out of a pitch-to-contact starter who has enjoyed his success.

Buehrle's game is changing speeds. His velocity sits in the mid-80's, but he relies heavily on a change-up and cutter while also mixing in a curveball and slider. The Phillies will send out an all-righty line-up tonight, including Placido Polanco (14-for-35, 2 doubles, 1 walk in 37 career plate appearances against Buehrle) and Ty Wigginton (5-for-19, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 3 walks, 22 plate appearances).

Jimmy Rollins is the only other starter who has faced Buehrle. He is 2-for-11 in 11 plate appearances against him.



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