When you think of the phrase “perfect game”, you think of the most elite pitchers of the league. Except in reality, it seems like that aside from Roy Halladay, most of the pitchers to throw perfect games are the mediocre to above average guys as opposed to the huge stars. On Saturday, that trend held true, when Phillip Humber of the White Sox threw the 21st perfect game in MLB history.
Humber was masterful against the Mariners, striking out nine in his nine perfect innings and only throwing 96 pitches, 67 of which were for strikes. Humber didn’t get into a three ball count until the ninth inning (when he found himself in a pair of them), and only got into five two ball counts all evening.
Humber’s pitch count of 96 is the lowest in a perfect game since David Cone threw just 88 in his perfecto over the Expos in 1999. This was the third perfect game for a White Sox pitchers (the other two are Mark Buerhle in 2009 and Charlie Robertson in 1922). Humber’s no hitter came in just his 30th career start, and it was his first career complete game. He was the third overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, who dealt him to the Twins in the Johan Santana deal. He signed with the Royals as a free agent for the 2010 season and was waived twice after the year, first by the Royals, then by the A’s, who initially claimed him after the Royals waiver claim. The White Sox claimed Humber after the A’s waived him, and he started 26 games in 2011, with a 3.75 ERA in 163 innings.