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Humber hopes trying season ends on high

9/17/2012

CHICAGO -- Few pitchers have endured the highs and lows experienced by Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber this season.

Humber has gone from pitching the 21st perfect game in major league baseball history to being demoted to the bullpen and rarely getting a chance to pitch.

Humber threw a scoreless inning of relief in the White Sox’s 9-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday in his first relief appearance since allowing eight runs in 1/3 inning against the Twins on Sept. 4.

Humber is hopeful his season will end with another high.

“I think the last chapter hasn’t been written,” Humber said before Monday’s game. “For me personally, I don’t know. I come here every day and can hopefully help the team in some way whether it be soaking up innings or pitching in a big situation.

“Hopefully this will be the craziest year for me. Hopefully start off with a perfect game and end with a championship. That would be something awesome. It’s been a fun year. It’s not exactly how I would have drawn it up for myself.”

Since throwing a perfect game on April 21, Humber’s season has been full of more negatives than positives. He allowed 20 runs in the three games following his perfect game. He gave up 14 runs in three starts in June and then went on the disabled list with an elbow flexor strain. He returned from the disabled list, made four more starts and then was moved to the bullpen.

“If I had my way, it would be a whole lot smoother, trust me,” Humber said. “I’m not planning all theses ups and downs. It’s just part of it. If it’d be easy, everybody would be doing it, and everybody would have success doing it. I’m going to keep battling, keep grinding.”

Humber believes he located something in his motion that put him on the disabled list and has accounted for his troubles.

“I feel like I’ve gotten better in a lot of ways, just kind of getting back to what I was doing before when I was being successful,” said Humber, who is 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA this season. “Kind of got in some bad habits this year, the reason I got hurt.

“I feel like I kind of got to a point where I was being really slow in my delivery. All of a sudden you get to your release point and then trying to go hard and just putting a lot of stress on my harm. Kind of being free and easy and having more of an athletic move. I’m trying to do that.”