Seattle, WA, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Philip Humber pitches to the Seattle Mariners during the 3rd inning at Safeco Field. Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Philip Humber Hurls Perfect Game For White Sox

Humber retired all 27 Mariners who came to the plate on Saturday, pitching the 21st perfect game in major-league history.

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11 Total Updates since April 21, 2012
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Perfect-Game Pitchers: What Was Their Followup Act?

Philip Humber threw a perfect game last Saturday, and will start Thursday night against the Red Sox. How did other perfect-game pitchers do in their next outing?

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Philip Humber: 5 Teams And A Perfect Game

Philip Humber threw an unexpected perfect game this weekend, especially surprising to the teams who have let him go.

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South Side Sox: Ruminations On Philip Humber

It wasn't that long ago that the Chicago White Sox were an under-the-radar cursed franchise. The Cubs and Red Sox got all the attention, and the Indians even had a movie made about them, but the White Sox languished with the worst of all worlds: no championships, no sympathy.

In the past ten years, though, they have a championship and two perfect games -- few, if any, teams an baseball can match that combination of excitement and rarity, though Rangers fans can come close with two pennants and Bengie Molina hitting for the cycle.

Over at South Side Sox, Jim Margalus presented some thoughts and stats and pictures related to Philip Humber's perfect game:

Humber's fastball was much more reliable for quality strikes, and he used it to his advantage later on. He and Pierzynski flipped the script on the Mariners the third time through the order, establishing the fastball and using the curve and a much-tighter slider as putaway pitches. The pitch he used to strike out Michael Saunders to record the first out of the ninth inning might have been the best slider of his life.

Margalus lists and breaks down the pitches Humber threw, and he includes pictures and .gifs of the fateful last swing. Conclusion of that last swing: Anyone who says with a rigid certainty that they're sure it was or wasn't a swing ... probably worth ignoring. It was that close.

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N.Y. TIMES: Phil Humber Just Another Pitcher Who Took Forever

The Mets were so bad in 2003 that, the next summer, they were blessed with the third pick in the amateur draft.

The Padres owned the first pick and, somewhat unaccountably, chose the ill-fated Matt Bush.

The Tigers owned the second pick and, quite accountable, chose Justin Verlander.

With Verlander gone, the Mets were particularly interested in Jered Weaver and Philip Humber. As for what happened next ... well, here's Tyler Kepner (via The New York Times):

Weaver had high bonus demands and did not pitch well for the Mets’ scouts. They passed on Weaver, who went to the Angels, and chose Humber, a 6-foot-3 right-hander with a 95-mile-per-hour fastball.

"Everybody who went in to see him, including myself, thought he was going to be a 200-inning, year-after-year type of pitcher," said Jim Duquette, then the Mets’ general manager. "He had a good frame and a lot of the elements you’d look for in a top-of-the-rotation starter."

Humber made only one start for the Mets, who traded him to Minnesota as part of the package for Johan Santana in 2008. From there, he bounced to Kansas City, Oakland and the Chicago White Sox, while Verlander and Weaver went on to stardom.

A friend once told me -- while trying to explain just how uncertain the chances of young pitchers -- that even though pitchers drafted in the first round have relatively high success rates, even those guys often take years to prove their mettle in the major leagues. And there are few better examples than Humber, who did virtually nothing as a major leaguer until his seventh professional season ... and with his fifth professional team.

You can't really blame the Mets for letting Humber get away; after all, they had to give up something to get Johan Santana. But his loss might seem especially poignant, as the Mets are still waiting for the first no-hitter in franchise history.

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Do The Seattle Mariners Have The Worst Offense In Perfect-Game History?

The Seattle Mariners are the antonym of offense. But are they the worst offense to ever have a perfect game thrown against them?

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White Sox' Philip Humber, At Last, Reaches The Top With Perfect Game

Philip Humber had years of surgery and failure before finally making a major league rotation in 2011, seven years after he was drafted. On Saturday, he reached the pinnacle of his profession.

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VIDEO: Last Out Of Philip Humber's Perfect Game

Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in baseball history, keeping every single Mariner off the bases on Saturday. But there was just a teensy bit of controversy with the last out:


Brendan Ryan thought he checked his swing and started walking to first, but he was rung up by home-plate umpire Brian Runge. Was it a swing? It's hard to tell, but I'm going with "probably not." But it was definitely close enough to call without creating a huge controversy. There's a pretty good chance that Runge was thinking "Don't pull a Jim Joyce don't pull a Jim Joyce don't pull a Jim Joyce" for the last inning.

The most important thing that we're missing here is that it would have been awesome if Ryan had reached on a dropped third-strike. Perfect games are rare -- only 21 in baseball history -- but you know what's even rarer? Perfect games that are lost on dropped third-strikes. As is, it's still pretty cool to see a perfect game.

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List Of Perfect Games In Baseball History

Philip Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in baseball history, and the fourth since Mark Buehrle threw one for the White Sox in July, 2009. Here's a list of perfect games in baseball history, with help from Baseball Almanac:

Lee Richmond - 6/12/1880
John Ward - 6/17/1880
Cy Young -5/05/1904
Addie Joss - 10/02/1908
Charlie Robertson - 4/30/1922
Don Larsen - 10/08/1956
Jim Bunning - 06/21/1964
Sandy Koufax - 9/09/1965
Catfish Hunter - 5/08/1968
Len Barker - 5/15/1981
Mike Witt - 9/30/1984
Tom Browning - 9/16/1988
Dennis Martinez - 7/28/1991
Kenny Rogers - 7/28/1994
David Wells - 5/17/1998
David Cone - 7/18/1999
Randy Johnson - 5/18/2004
Mark Buehrle -7/23/2009
Dallas Braden - 5/09/2010
Roy Halladay - 5/29/2010
Philip Humber - 4/21/2012

Humber's perfect game was the third in White Sox history, the most by any franchise.

Not on this list, of course, is Armando Galarraga, who lost his perfect game on a blown call at first base. Two pitchers -- Harvey Haddix and Pedro Martinez -- were perfect through nine innings (with Haddix perfect through 12) before losing the perfect game and the game in extra innings.

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Philip Humber Throws Perfect Game Against Mariners

The Chicago White SoxPhilip Humber has thrown the 21st perfect game in major league history, retiring all 27 Seattle Mariners he faced in a 4-0 Chicago victory. He also became the second White Sox pitcher to be perfect in the last three seasons; Mark Buehrle threw one for the South Side Chicago team on July 23, 2009 against the Tampa Bay Rays, and the third Sox pitcher overall to accomplish this feat. Charlie Robertson threw one for them in 1922.

In doing so, Humber threw just 96 pitches, a very efficient pitcher’s outing, and here’s how the final three outs were recorded:

Michael Saunders struck out swinging — after Humber ran the count to 3-0 on him.

John Jaso, pinch-hitting for Miguel Olivo, popped up to Alex Rios in right field.

The 27th hitter was Brendan Ryan, batting for Munenori Kawasaki, and he ran the count to 3-2 before striking out on a pitch that bounced in the dirt; A.J. Pierzynski threw to first to retire Ryan to complete the perfect game.

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Philip Humber Has Perfect Game Through Eight Innings

Now, it gets exciting — just three outs to go! The White SoxPhilip Humber has retired the first 24 Mariners he has faced in Seattle Saturday afternoon, and is just three outs away from becoming the 21st pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game — 27 batters up, 27 batters retired.

Humber came close to a no-hitter in 2011, taking one into the seventh inning against the Yankees on April 25, 2011 at Yankee Stadium; he wound up giving up just one hit before being removed.

In the bottom of the eighth, Humber struck out Justin Smoak, his seventh of the game, for out number 22. Then, Kyle Seager hit a fly ball to medium-deep left fielder Brent Lillibridge (who had replaced Dayan Viciedo for defensive purposes) for the second out of the inning, becoming the 23rd straight hitter retired by Humber. The third out, and 24th straight, was a ground ball to second base by Miguel Montero.

Humber has thrown just 80 pitches (57 strikes) through eight innings.

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White Sox' Philip Humber Has Perfect Game Through Seven Innings

There's potential history brewing in Seattle as the White Sox' Philip Humber has retired the first 21 Mariners he has faced.

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