Monday, April 22, 2013

Phil Humber .... one year later

The date was April 21, 2012 -- one year ago today. Phil Humber was at the bottom of this dog pile after tossing the 21st perfect game in MLB history, a 4-0 whitewashing of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

It was a cool story at the time. Humber had pitched in parts of seven major league seasons with four different organizations, yet the perfect game was just the 12th win of his career.

He was a former first-round draft pick who had been a bust. He had been traded and released multiple times. He was about the last guy you'd ever expect to throw a perfect game. He was an underdog, and that was part of what made it so much fun to see him succeed.

Unfortunately for Humber, success has been hard to come by ever since that day in Seattle. He won only four more times for the White Sox after the perfect game. He pitched himself out of the rotation, and ultimately, out of Chicago. He finished 2012 with a 5-5 record and an inflated 6.44 ERA.

The Houston Astros, the worst team in baseball last year and quite possibly the worst again this year, picked Humber up and gave him another shot. The results have not been good. Humber has lost his first four starts of the season. Once again, the ERA is up there at 6.63 ERA.

Humber got the start for Houston against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, almost one year to the day since his perfect game. He didn't even make it out of the first inning. He faced 10 batters and retired only one. He gave up eight runs on eight hits as the Indians rolled to a 19-6 victory.

What a difference a year makes, huh?


  1. I remember that perfect game so well. It was such a great story and I loved watching Humber get all of that national media attention. Unfortunately for him, that perfect game was a flash in the pan and it doesn't look like he'll regain any pitching skills even close to what we saw last April 21.

  2. I think this is a case where Sox fans can feel fortunate that Phil Humber's best came while he was wearing a Chicago uniform. Nine wins and a 3.75 ERA in 2011 was almost certainly a career year for him. Then, he had the perfect game last season. More that likely, he will not equal or surpass his 2011 performance at any point in the future.

  3. Humber is now 0-7 with a 8.82 ERA after suffering a 9-0 defeat at the hands of Detroit Sunday.