Two Ways to be Perfect
On April 21st, Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw Major League Baseball’s 21st ever perfect game. Humber was once the New York Mets top pitching prospect and was traded in 2008 to the Minnesota Twins for two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana. It’s a very unsettling feeling to see a Mets prospect get traded for a superstar and have that prospect throw a perfect game, considering the fact that no New York Mets player has ever even thrown a no-hitter. There is an exclusive group of pitchers to pitch no-hitters that once pitched for the Mets including David Cone, Tom Seaver, Doc Gooden and Nolan Ryan. The most amazing part of Humber’s perfect game is the fact that he had to have Tommy John surgery before his career started. This was baseball’s first perfect game since Roy Halladay threw one against the then Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010 and this was the White Sox’s 3rd ever perfect game.
Philip Humber did not record a Major League victory as a starting pitcher until 2010 when he was pitching for the Kansas City Royals. Up until yesterday Humber was considered a pretty big bust based on the fact that he was the #3 overall pick of the Mets in 2004 and then traded for arguably the best pitcher in baseball at the time, but now Humber finds himself in one of baseball’s most exclusive record books. After the game Humber was interviewed and said, “I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know what Philip Humber is doing in this list. No idea what my name is doing there, but I’m thankful it’s there.” This perfect game was only Philip’s 12 ever win, which is the second fewest for anyone who has pitched one.
The other “perfect” story in baseball comes from the west coast. Matt Kemp is at the front of an LA Dodgers team that is quickly establishing themselves as one of the best in baseball. The way Matt Kemp has started this season is nothing short of perfect. Saturday afternoon marked the third game in a row where Kemp blasted a home run. Kemp set a franchise record by recording his 9th home run in the teams first 15 games and in that time he leads all of baseball in batting average (.474), home runs (9), and RBI’s (22). After the game during an interview Kemp said, “I’m just trying to do good for my team and just trying to get wins and put us on the map again. When teams come in they have to strap it up and get ready because we’re going to try our best to go beat you guys.” With the Dodgers tied with the Texas Rangers at 12-3 for the best record in baseball it seems as if Kemp and his teammates are practicing what he is preaching. Kemp’s an obvious choice for player of the month and he is now my early favorite for MVP and he might even be a Triple Crown Winner this year. I personally hope he keeps this incredible start-up because he is making The Sports Debaters Fantasy Baseball team look amazing.