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The Yankees are really going to miss Mark Buehrle

Unfortunately, we won't ever see the Buehrle Curse again

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Buehrle has been one of the most interesting pitchers of the modern era. During a period of rising fastball velocity, Buehrle was able to succeed in the big leagues without ever having a fastball average over 90 mph. He had a 116 ERA+ over 16 seasons and 3283.1 innings, which is a remarkable feat. He has not signed a new contract after hitting free agency in the offseason, so his career could very well be over. He isn't a Hall of Famer, but I easily slot him into my Hall of Nearly Great.

One thing he was not great at, or even decent at, was pitching against the Yankees. Granted, Buehrle was facing the Yankees of 2001-2015, which had some of the best offensive teams in modern baseball. However, even with that considered, the Yankees still had a 129 tOPS+, or they performed 29% better than their own splits. Essentially you had some great, great offenses vastly outperforming themselves.

To put this in context: against Buehrle, the Yankees had an .846 OPS. There are some obvious caveats here because I can't adjust for era with OPS values going across many seasons, but take a look at how that .846 OPS compares to teams in post-World War II baseball:

Team OPS
2003 Red Sox .851
1996 Mariners .850
1950 Red Sox .848
Yankees vs. Buehrle .846
1996 Indians .844
1953 Dodgers .840
1999 Rangers .840
1997 Mariners .839
2009 Yankees .839
1995 Indians .839

It's a fun fact. All of these are readily recognizable as all-time offenses with generational talents, and that's basically how the Yankees played against Buehrle, which is funny, considering they were already an all-time offense at different points in his career. In honor of this, and in honor of the fact we may never witness the Buehrle Curse ever again, here are my favorite games in his career:

July 15, 2006 - 3 IP, 7 ER

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This is really going back. This was a monster offense that just pummeled Buehrle, as he allowed eight hits in just three-plus innings. That'll happen when you have a lineup with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, and Jorge Posada all in their prime.

August 2, 2009 - 4.1 IP, 7 ER

buehrle2

CC Sabathia looked a bit like his current self when he  allowed back-to-back home runs from Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome, but a Melky Cabrera three-run home run and a hit parade in the fifth ended Buehrle's outing.

May 2, 2010 - 4.2 IP, 5 ER

buehrle3

This was a universe where Phil Hughes was throwing seven scoreless for the Yankees and Sergio Santos was on a major league team. Oh, and the White Sox lineup had the likes of Mark Kotsay, Jayson NixCarlos Quentin, and Mark Teahen. Buehrle was completely overwhelmed by another good team, as he let up home runs to Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, and Nick Swisher.

July 25, 2014 - 4.1 IP, 5 ER

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This one is always special to me because I actually remember recapping it; the title: Ichiro hit a home run.

I will also mention that Ichiro has only one home run since this game. Anyway, Buehrle wasn't horrible, but if you allow a three-run home run to Ichiro, then you've sealed your fate.

This is all just for fun. These numbers were never predictive, and I'm sure if Buehrle had not retired, he probably would have done fine. For now, though, this trend will just remain a nice little outlier.