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Lip Man 1
01-02-2013, 08:53 PM
In the issue with Michael Phelps on the cover. Titled "The problem With Perfection..." it looks at Humber on the day of the perfect game and the aftermath.

Story spoke with those who know him (as well as Humber) and what emerges is a pitcher who set his personal standards so high that when he couldn't reach them it messed up his mind and self confidence.

Quotes Humber as saying that after the perfect game, "I've got to prove that the perfect game was not a fluke."

Story says that later in the season when he was getting bombed he worked even harder to try to get out of the slump, instead it drove him deeper and deeper into it. Humber says he told Don Cooper, "I don't know what I'm doing out there..." He went with the slider so much after the perfect game that Humber says he thinks that's the reason he got the strained right elbow.

Story said that on the final day he went around the clubhouse saying his goodbyes figuring his days with the Sox were over.

After the Astros picked him up, the G.M. Jeff Luhnow told him "the team believed he could be a rock in the rotation..."

Sounds like the worst thing that could happen to him was pitching a perfect game. He wasn't ready mentally to deal with it. Maybe the mental issues are the reason he's bounced around to so many teams despite being a first round pick.

Lip

gosox41
01-02-2013, 09:32 PM
In the issue with Michael Phelps on the cover. Titled "The problem With Perfection..." it looks at Humber on the day of the perfect game and the aftermath.

Story spoke with those who know him (as well as Humber) and what emerges is a pitcher who set his personal standards so high that when he couldn't reach them it messed up his mind and self confidence.

Quotes Humber as saying that after the perfect game, "I've got to prove that the perfect game was not a fluke."

Story says that later in the season when he was getting bombed he worked even harder to try to get out of the slump, instead it drove him deeper and deeper into it. Humber says he told Don Cooper, "I don't know what I'm doing out there..." He went with the slider so much after the perfect game that Humber says he thinks that's the reason he got the strained right elbow.

Story said that on the final day he went around the clubhouse saying his goodbyes figuring his days with the Sox were over.

After the Astros picked him up, the G.M. Jeff Luhnow told him "the team believed he could be a rock in the rotation..."

Sounds like the worst thing that could happen to him was pitching a perfect game. He wasn't ready mentally to deal with it. Maybe the mental issues are the reason he's bounced around to so many teams despite being a first round pick.

Lip

There have been a ton of pitchers in baseball with the million dollar arm and the 10 cent brain. I've been saying that for years. Outside of injury, you seriously have to wonder why a guy picked in the top 10 in the draft flails around for so many years. Scouts know who has plus stuff and who has likely has no future based on the pitches they possess.

Garland was a good example of that, as was Kip Wells. I always thought Baldwin underperformed though I never say him as a Cy Young candidate.

Currently, I think Floyd (wasn't he another top 10 pick?) has never developed into the pitcher he can be. He's shows stretches of domination and stretches of bad.

I feel bad for Phil. The only thing stopping him from being a dominant pitcher is all upstairs for him. You can see it in his eyes late in the season. The confidence was gone.


Bob

DumpJerry
01-02-2013, 10:50 PM
http://www.sportsillustratedeverywhere.com/issues/protected/com.timeinc.si.web.inapp.12312012/the-problem-with-perfection-20245.html

Not sure if this is behind a paywall.

Falstaff
01-03-2013, 04:00 AM
There have been a ton of pitchers in baseball with the million dollar arm and the 10 cent brain. I've been saying that for years. Outside of injury, you seriously have to wonder why a guy picked in the top 10 in the draft flails around for so many years. Scouts know who has plus stuff and who has likely has no future based on the pitches they possess.

Garland was a good example of that, as was Kip Wells. I always thought Baldwin underperformed though I never say him as a Cy Young candidate.

Currently, I think Floyd (wasn't he another top 10 pick?) has never developed into the pitcher he can be. He's shows stretches of domination and stretches of bad.

I feel bad for Phil. The only thing stopping him from being a dominant pitcher is all upstairs for him. You can see it in his eyes late in the season. The confidence was gone.


Bob
Yes, give me a Mark Buerhle who was CUT from his sophmore high school team, but had that rain delay slide on the tarp mentality that allowed him to sustain throughout ups , downs, and even a perfecto. Tho even Mark's seasons declined post perfect and post no-no. Truth be told, its the mental aspects that have prevented me myself from becoming a top tier MLB starter too.

russ99
01-03-2013, 08:42 AM
There have been a ton of pitchers in baseball with the million dollar arm and the 10 cent brain. I've been saying that for years. Outside of injury, you seriously have to wonder why a guy picked in the top 10 in the draft flails around for so many years. Scouts know who has plus stuff and who has likely has no future based on the pitches they possess.

Garland was a good example of that, as was Kip Wells. I always thought Baldwin underperformed though I never say him as a Cy Young candidate.

Currently, I think Floyd (wasn't he another top 10 pick?) has never developed into the pitcher he can be. He's shows stretches of domination and stretches of bad.

I feel bad for Phil. The only thing stopping him from being a dominant pitcher is all upstairs for him. You can see it in his eyes late in the season. The confidence was gone.

Bob

Houston is a good spot for him, with little pressure to win the next few years, and maybe he can get his head on straight by the time they start making some noise.

Kind of odd that 3/5ths of the Astros rotation next year could be former Sox pitchers/prospects Harrell, Humber and Ely, and they got all three for just one mid-level prospect.

Irishsox1
01-03-2013, 10:09 AM
Prior to 2010 Humber had pitched a total of 51.1 innings in the majors in 5 years, then in 2011 he pitched 163 innings and in 2012 pitched 102 innings.

Humber can point to the perfect game as a reason for his problems, but I'm guessing it has more to do with his lack of experience and general inconsistency that has plagued his entire career.

The perfect game was a lighting strike.

voodoochile
01-03-2013, 10:17 AM
I think the effects of a perfect game or no-no also can be physical. I mean it's a guaranteed complete game and guys often extend to 125+ pitches to get it done where if they were winning 5-0 having given up a single hit they might be pulled around 100. Plus obviously the mental strain of throwing a once in a lifetime game can lead to a guy putting a lot extra on late inning pitches and stress the system even more.

I mean a guy with a 10-0 lead having given up a hit or two is throwing get me over fastballs late in the game just to finish a complete game, but with a major achievement on the line, they are still letting it fly late with a high pitch count. I've felt this way for a while. It's more obvious for older pitchers I think.

I remember when Buehrle threw his perfect game and then came back and started the next game with like 5.2 innings of perfection. Then suddenly he hit the wall and the next 4-5 games (IIRC) he struggled. I thought it was the stress from all those tough pitches.

LoveYourSuit
01-03-2013, 10:54 AM
Let's call it what it is: A Fluke.

His stuff is below average.

Chez
01-03-2013, 11:04 AM
Let's call it what it is: A Fluke.

His stuff is below average.

Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I think his stuff is above average. His command is what is below average. I hope Humber does well in Houston.

LoveYourSuit
01-03-2013, 11:14 AM
Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I think his stuff is above average. His command is what is below average. I hope Humber does well in Houston.

He's got a FB 89-91 with an OK breaking pitch.

Nothing special IMO. Pitchers with his stuff get hit hard, especially in the AL.

Hope he does well, will agree on that. Seemed like a very nice guy in that clubhouse.

kittle42
01-03-2013, 11:36 AM
Let's call it what it is: A Fluke.

His stuff is below average.

One of the bigger flukes in baseball (or at least pitching) history, too.

salty99
01-03-2013, 01:12 PM
I guess Coop couldn't fix him.

WhiteSox5187
01-03-2013, 02:20 PM
I think the effects of a perfect game or no-no also can be physical. I mean it's a guaranteed complete game and guys often extend to 125+ pitches to get it done where if they were winning 5-0 having given up a single hit they might be pulled around 100. Plus obviously the mental strain of throwing a once in a lifetime game can lead to a guy putting a lot extra on late inning pitches and stress the system even more.

I mean a guy with a 10-0 lead having given up a hit or two is throwing get me over fastballs late in the game just to finish a complete game, but with a major achievement on the line, they are still letting it fly late with a high pitch count. I've felt this way for a while. It's more obvious for older pitchers I think.

I remember when Buehrle threw his perfect game and then came back and started the next game with like 5.2 innings of perfection. Then suddenly he hit the wall and the next 4-5 games (IIRC) he struggled. I thought it was the stress from all those tough pitches.

Really he had two bad outings. The outing against the Twins he had 5.2 perfect innings and the game got a way from him in the seventh but in looking at the game recap on baseball-reference I noticed that one of the runs was scored on a weak ground ball through third, another on a single into short right and yet another when Dotel walked in a run. I seem to recall thinking that anyone other than Dye in right would have gotten to that single. In his next outing he pitched into the 8th but gave up five runs (and the White Sox made three errors behind him) and then pitched 8 shutout innings against Seattle. I know a lot of people said that Buerhle fell apart after the perfect game in 2009 but I only thought he had four bad starts out of his next thirteen. Sorry for the hijack.

TDog
01-04-2013, 02:18 PM
Let's call it what it is: A Fluke.

His stuff is below average.

I don't think it was a fluke at all. It was a day when everything came together for him on the mound, and he was facing a team vulnerable to his best stuff in a place where he had his best chance to succeed. In the past, he had a few starts with the Sox during which he was a superior, dominant pitcher for five or six innings before losing it, whether he was tiring or whether hitters figured him out or a combination of the two.

Having the ability to do something and having the physical and mental makeup and discipline to do it over and over again are separate qualities.

doublem23
01-04-2013, 02:28 PM
Let's call it what it is: A Fluke.

How many MLB games have been played now? And there's only 20 something perfect games in that time? Really, every perfect game is a fluke.

LoveYourSuit
01-04-2013, 02:57 PM
How many MLB games have been played now? And there's only 20 something perfect games in that time? Really, every perfect game is a fluke.


Well, I'm not the one puzzled on why this guy has sucked his entire career despite thorwing a perfect game.

It was a fluke, just like all the other 20+ PGs in MLB history. Althoug the other 20+ guys had a .001% chance of throwing one compared to Humber who was at .00000000000000000001%.

DumpJerry
01-04-2013, 03:34 PM
Well, I'm not the one puzzled on why this guy has sucked his entire career despite thorwing a perfect game.

It was a fluke, just like all the other 20+ PGs in MLB history. Althoug the other 20+ guys had a .001% chance of throwing one compared to Humber who was at .00000000000000000001%.
As my math teacher would say "show your work."

What do you think of this guy's (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/roberch01.shtml) chances at tossing a perfect game? How about a perfect game against a lineup that included Ty Cobb? Better than .001%?

LoveYourSuit
01-04-2013, 03:45 PM
As my math teacher would say "show your work."

What do you think of this guy's (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/roberch01.shtml) chances at tossing a perfect game? How about a perfect game against a lineup that included Ty Cobb? Better than .001%?


I stand corrected.

Humber would be second to last.

CoopaLoop
01-04-2013, 06:24 PM
Humber has to have had the biggest free fall after a perfect game though right?

Loses his job as a starter two months later, gets put on waivers at season's end and gets picked up by the worst team in baseball.

I assume the guy I can't think of from Oakland who's grandmother fought his battles for him is pretty close.

TDog
01-04-2013, 08:38 PM
Humber has to have had the biggest free fall after a perfect game though right?

Loses his job as a starter two months later, gets put on waivers at season's end and gets picked up by the worst team in baseball.

I assume the guy I can't think of from Oakland who's grandmother fought his battles for him is pretty close.

Dallas Braden did have an injury, though, perhaps more than one at the same time. I think arm problems is something the A's teach their minor leaguers because they bring up so much pitching talent and almost all of it goes down to injury.

I don't think there has ever been a perfect game in the majors that could be called a fluke. You have to go out there for nine innings and not let a hitter reach base. You have to deal with the pressure. Over your career you might not appear to be good enough to have such a great game, but Humber was drafted so high and given so many opportunities because teams believed he could be good enough. And Humber had been a pretty good starter for much of the 2011 season. I think it's entirely possible that Humber would have been a better pitcher in 2012 if he hadn't pitched a perfect game.

But he pitched such a great game, that he shouldn't have needed to pitch as well to prove it wasn't a fluke. Sometimes players play way above their career norms. That is the nature of professional competition. In many, many games players play well above or below their career norms. One night last October, Barry Zito hit a solid RBI single against Justin Verlander. That's what competition is all about.

RadioheadRocks
01-04-2013, 10:52 PM
Enough of this pissing contest. Let Humber have his moment in the sun. Sheesh!

SI1020
01-05-2013, 11:07 AM
I still think he has a chance to be a decent back end of the rotation guy.