Saturday, April 21, 2012

Perfect Phillip Humber

Philip Humber will never throw a better game than he did
Saturday in Seattle: 27 men up, 27 down on a mere 96 pitches.
Philip Humber, who threw a perfect game Saturday for the Chicago White Sox, may be a familiar name to Twins fans. He pitched briefly — less than 21 innings — and poorly — 6.10 ERA — for the Twins in 2008-09 after being part of the Johan Santana trade.

His has been a star-crossed career, and a warning for those eager to see the Twins take a college pitcher with the second overall pick in June. Humber, who starred at Rice University, was the third man taken in the 2004 draft. But he quickly blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery, and his stuff has never recovered.

The Twins cut him loose after the 2009 season. He got some time in with Kansas City, was released there, signed with Chicago, stepped into the rotation there last season because  of injury, had a big first half (8-5, 3.10) and faded badly in the second half (1-4, 5.01).

His success last season, I figured this winter, was a mirage. Today suggests otherwise. Seattle does not have a strong lineup, but perfection is perfection.

And I still cannot blame the Twins for pulling the plug on Humber.

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