On Saturday, Philip Humber pitched a perfect game at Seattle, instantly becoming a household name.
On Thursday, Humber pitched like a guy that’s all too familiar with the waiver wire.
Maybe the next time out, and for the remainder of his time in a White Sox uniform, the right-handed starting pitcher will find some successful middle ground.
You had a feeling it was going to be one of those nights for Humber when he walked leadoff man Mike Aviles to open the game and went on to yield 2 runs on 3 hits in the first inning, setting the stage for the White Sox’ 10-3 loss to the Red Sox in front of 20,266 at U.S. Cellular Field.
“I didn’t pitch well tonight,” an honest Humber said after reaching career highs in runs allowed (9) and home runs (3) for a game while lasting just 5 innings.
Between all of the attention and interview requests he received from Saturday’s gem and then flying back to Chicago from the West Coast on Tuesday to be with his wife Kristan, who is expecting the couple’s first child at any moment, Humber could have rolled out a list of excuses for his poor outing.
He chose not to.
“I stayed with my normal routine,” said Humber, whom the White Sox claimed off waivers from Oakland prior to the 2011 season. “It’s been a bit more interviews and things like that and talking to more family members and friends, but I did my best to eliminate the distractions. I felt I was focused coming into the game and I don’t think anything that happened Saturday affected tonight.
“It was just a bad day and I’ll chalk it up to one of those days and hopefully next time will be better.”
Humber had a nasty slider against the Mariners, and he needed only 96 pitches to complete only the 21st perfect game in major-league history.
The slider was missing in action against Boston, and Humber threw his 96th pitch with only one out in the fifth inning.
“I didn’t get a good feel for it,” Humber said of the slider. “For whatever the reason, coming out of the gate I didn’t have a good feel for it. Really, both of my breaking balls, until the last couple innings, I didn’t have a whole lot of feel for them. But it’s not an excuse. You’ve got to make pitches and I’ve got to do a better job of locating the fastball.”
The Red Sox have been a major disappointment during the opening month of the season, but they can still hit and are coming back to life with a four-game winning streak.
“Not locating, maybe getting it up a little bit,” manager Robin Ventura said of Humber. “They swung it, it’s that simple, and they jumped out to a big lead. Just one of those games for him and we’ll go from here.”
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