Humber has had wild ride past 30 days

May, 21, 2012
5/21/12
2:18
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber has had a 30-day span where at points he’d like to always remember and others he’d like to forget.

Here’s a rundown of what the last 30 days have been like for him:

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Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesPhil Humber threw the 21st perfect game in history on April 21.
April 21: Humber throws the 21st perfect game in major league baseball history against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. The ninth inning was his shakiest inning. He went to a 3-0 count on the leadoff hitter and came back to strikeout him out. The final hitter tried to check his swing on a 3-2 count, but was called out. The pitch had hit the ground, and catcher A.J. Pierzynski threw the ball to first baseman Paul Konerko for the 27th out. Humber was knocked over and piled on by his teammates afterward, and that is what he’ll remember most about his historic day.

“The celebration, I think that’s the best of the game, when it’s over and everyone is rushing the field and all the excitement,” Humber said on Sunday. “That’s something I didn’t think about. I had never been a part of one. I had never seen a perfect game or no-hitter thrown. You don’t think everyone is so excited for it to happen. That was really neat to see, really neat to experience.”

April 22: Model Kate Upton tweets Humber, “Congrats to @Philip_Humber of the White Sox for getting into the Perfect Club. Looking forward to fitting your jacket! #2ksports hah.”

April 23: Humber receives a congratulatory phone call from President Barack Obama, a White Sox fan. Humber also makes many media appearances with his biggest on “The Late Show with David Letterman” doing the Top Ten list, “Thoughts That Went Through Philip Humber's Mind During His Perfect Game.” No. 8 was, “Thank goodness for my catcher, A.J. Pierzanky … Piernoftski … Pierzonski … whatever.”

April 24: Humber talks about his Christian faith for a story on MLB.com. It was one of many interviews Humber did regarding his beliefs.

“Through that happening, the perfect game, I’m able to have more chances to share that, so it’s been fun for me, and probably one of the cooler things that came from it,” Humber said.

April 25: Humber returns home to Chicago and sees his wife Kristan for the first time since throwing his perfect game. She couldn’t make the West Coast trip because she was expecting their first child on May 9.

April 26: Humber makes his first start since throwing his perfect game, and it’s far from perfect. He allows nine runs, including three home runs, and walks three in a 10-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

April 28: Illinois governor Pat Quinn proclaims April 28, 2012 to be “Philip Humber Day.” Humber is presented a framed proclamation before the White Sox’s game with the Red Sox.

May 1: Kristan gives birth to their first child, John Gregory Humber.

May 2: A night after his child is born, Humber struggles again in his second start since the perfect game. He walks six batters and gives up three runs in six innings against the Cleveland Indians.

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AP Photo/Brian KerseyPhilip Humber allowed four hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals on May 13.

May 7: Humber’s performance continues to decline. He allows eight hits, nine runs and walks two and lasts just 2 1/3 innings against the Indians. His ERA shoots up to 6.83 for the season.

“There’s a lot of outside stresses that didn’t play into my performance in the games, but probably made it harder to deal with it,” Humber said. “Like, ‘This, too. I have to deal with a bad start, too.’ Everything that happens to you, I feel like it helps you develop as a person, as a player. If I ever have stuff like that go on again, then I’ll probably be a lot better prepared to handle it. Hopefully, I will have to worry about that again because those are good things to come along.”

May 13: Humber finally begins to get back on track. He allows four hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals.

“Just really stop realizing about results,” Humber explained what had changed. “Once you have a couple bad starts early in the season, there’s no point thinking about what your numbers look like or anything like that. Kind of in a way maybe it was a good thing to maybe simplify everything and just go out and throw quality pitches, one out at a time and one inning at a time and not going out there trying to throw a perfect game. Not that I really thought that was going to happen again.”

May 18: Humber gives another solid performance, giving up five hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The White Sox win 3-2.

May 20: The White Sox sweep the Cubs at Wrigley Field for the first time since 1999.

May 21: The White Sox have the day off.

“I wouldn’t take any of it back,” Humber said. “Hopefully, next time something like that comes along I’ll be a little bit more prepared to handle all that and able to kind of separate the outside stuff from what’s going on at the field. It’s been good. It’s been very busy and hectic, but all good stuff.”
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.03 110 102
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .292
HRJ. Abreu 29
RBIJ. Abreu 74
RJ. Abreu 52
OPSJ. Abreu .959
ERAC. Sale 2.03
SOJ. Quintana 118