The 21st perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball was thrown by Chicago White Sox pitcher Phil Humber on Saturday, April 21st. Humber, who beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0 in Seattle, became the third White Sox hurler to throw a perfect game
"What just happened was awesome," Humber told media following the game. "I don't even know what to say." The 29-year-old struck out nine and didn't need exceptional plays to keep the perfect game alive. Humber, just 12-10 lifetime, is the 20th to accomplish the feat in the regular season; only Don Larsen has thrown a postseason perfect game.
Humber almost loses perfect game in 9th
He started the ninth dramatically by throwing 3 consecutive balls to Michael Saunders, but, with teammates and fans on edge, the veteran Texan battled back to strike Saunders out. John Jaso lofted a fly ball to Alex Rios in right before Humber struck out Brendan Ryan on a 3-2 outside pitch that provided controversy.
It looked as if Ryan might have checked his swing and he seemed to think he had and, as the ball bounced past catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Ryan hesitated before beginning his run, first looking to ump Brian Runge, who'd called it a strike. Ryan's delay gave Pierzynski plenty of time for the throw to first and Humber had his perfection.
Humber: First career complete game
For Humber it was the first shutout and first complete game of his career. The other two White Sox pitchers to throw a perfect game were Mark Buehrle on July 23rd, 2009 and Charlie Robertson on April 30th, 1922. It was MLB's first perfect game since Phillie Roy Halladay's on May 29 of 2010. That perfect game combined with one just 20 days earlier, on May 9, 2010 by Dallas Braden of Oakland, for the shortest time between perfect games in MLB history.
Others who have thrown a perfect game include Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Expos, Catfish Hunter of the Athletics, Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers, David Wells of the New York Yankees and Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Johnson remains the oldest to accomplish the feat, doing so at the age of 40.
There was one perfect game that wasn't, this again in 2010. On June 2 of that year Detroit Tiger Armando Galarraga appeared to have a perfect game but umpire Jim Joyce called Justin Donald safe at first base; replays showed Donald was out and Joyce later apologized. Galarraga is now an unsigned free agent and has spent most of the time since being denied his perfect game in the minors.
The win was Humber's first of the season in just his second game.