Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/22/12

And just like that, Philip Humber is in the Major League Baseball record books.

On Saturday against the Seattle Mariners, the White Sox pitcher accomplished one of the most difficult feats in baseball-the perfect game. The game was only the 21st of its kind in the history of baseball and the Sox have the privilege of having three of them.

Humber has been pretty much an unknown player before the Sox picked him up last year. He started out very solid, but his success tapered off as the season came to a close. Despite the rough second half last season, he showed enough prowess to be named the fifth starter by Robin Ventura.

Humber soaking it in

Humber was absolutely dominant in yesterday’s performance even by perfect game standards. He only used 96 pitches to complete the game and struck out nine. Only two Mariners had seven pitch at-bats and Humber only ran two counts that had three balls. The ninth inning took 16 pitches and that was the most out of any inning.

The only scare that Humber had was in the fourth inning when Alex Rios caught a hard hit fly ball off the bat of Dustin Ackley. It wasn’t a very flashy play or extremely difficult, but Rios’ catch helped  the continuation of Humber’s perfect game effort. Other than that, the White Sox pitcher crushed the Mariner offense.

Even the Seattle fans were on their feet as Humber pitched to the last batter. Brendan Ryan worked Humber to a full count and the pressure could be felt. Ryan told MLB.com that he was anticipating a fastball assuming that Humber would throw a accurate pitch and not risk walking him. Instead, Ryan was very surprised when he saw a slider coming at him. He tried to check his swing and Pierzynski dropped the pitch. The umpire called Ryan out and the ball rolled toward the White Sox dugout. As A.J. ran to get the dropped third strike, Ryan turned around to argue about whether or not he swung at the pitch. Had he not argued the call, it can be speculated that he may have reached first before Pierzynski could throw him out. Thankfully, Humber’s perfect game was not ruined in such an unappealing fashion.

When the final out was recorded, the White Sox dugout exploded onto the field as Humber relished in the moment. It was a magical moment and one he will always have. Yesterday Humber was a relatively anonymous pitcher and today he is a national story. It is always good to see the Sox getting recognition for their players’ talents.

After the game, former Sox pitcher and fellow perfect game thrower Mark Buehrle texted Humber his congratulations. Since John Danks is still performing a little under snuff, perhaps Humber can become the club ace in the wake of Buehrle’s departure. That remains to be seen, but for right now, Humber is feeling on top of the world.

 

 

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