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updated: 4/22/2012 3:14 PM

Ask Rongey: Humber's perfect day, Morel's struggles and more

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  • White Sox pitcher Phil Humber has more in common with Mark Buehrle than throwing a perfect game. According to our White Sox columnist Chris Rongey, that level of success couldn't happen to two nicer guys.

    White Sox pitcher Phil Humber has more in common with Mark Buehrle than throwing a perfect game. According to our White Sox columnist Chris Rongey, that level of success couldn't happen to two nicer guys.
    Associated Press


Before we get to your questions, I have one of my own:

Q. How about Philip Humber?

A. For a guy that had seemingly exhausted any chance that he would be a regular Major League starter, Humber has become one of the most dependable for the White Sox over the last two years.

Saturday's perfect game is the third Sox no-hitter in five years and probably the best-pitched of all of them.

It's safe to say we've been spoiled in that department and, like Mark Buehrle, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

A postgame caller to me made a terrific point on Saturday: there may not be any individual random sports achievement that is as dramatic as retiring all 27 batters faced on a given day. And he might be right.

Think about it: is there another personal accomplishment in sports that can occur without warning and compels you to text your entire contacts list with the suggestion, "Um, you might want to turn on this game."

If you found out it was happening before it was over, I can almost guarantee you found your way to a TV or radio.

The allure of it is that you never know when it's coming, but it can happen any afternoon you head to the park, or flip on the TV, or punch up the flagship radio station.

Home run milestones, touchdown records, consecutive games played streaks ... you see them all coming like a throw home from center field. But the perfect game? The buildup is fierce and so instantaneous that it's practically confusing.

A perfect game is a winning Mega Millions ticket. Except when one happens, you don't get to retire tomorrow. Although, you do get to take a day or two or three to enjoy it with everyone else.

Now, onto your questions:

Q. Brent Morel is off a slow start, but Robin Ventura is leaving him in the No. 2 spot and thinks he's going to turn it around. Why stick with him?

A. They're expecting Morel to show them something like what he gave them in September last year (. 890 OPS, 8 HRs, 4 doubles, 19 RBI). While he may not do that on a consistent basis, if he gives them something similar, they'll continue to give him ABs in the upper part of the order.

I don't mind the manager demonstrating some confidence in him. If it becomes a slow first half, though, they'll make the change.

Q. Jake Peavy has gotten better in each of his three starts this season. Is he a different pitcher coming off the lat injury?

A. He's healthy. There isn't -- and hasn't -- been anything more important about Peavy than that. As long as he has good health, there isn't any reason he can't be a good pitcher in the AL. Even without a consistent mid-90s fastball, his stuff is tricky enough to win games.

Q. Adam Dunn is piling up strikeouts early, but he's also delivering big hits. Are you seeing a different Dunn?

A. It was clear to just about everyone that saw him during the spring that Dunn was different. Comfortable and confident, not to mention his swing was as in-sync as we've seen him since he arrived in Chicago. The question was whether he'd take that with him into the regular season. So far, most appears to be well, though I'd love to see him bring home with him the numbers he puts up on the road (his OPS is well over .400 points better on the road and all of his home runs have come on the road).

• Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRongey and at Subscriber Total Access members can submit questions for consideration via our daily news bulletins, or send them directly to

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