No-hitters and perfect games come out of nowhere. That’s what makes them so special. Even when a dominant ace like Justin Verlander throws one, as he did last May, it is amazing and unexpected. But the perfect game thrown by Philip Humber yesterday for the Chicago White Sox was particularly shocking.
Heading into Saturday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, Humber had 11 career wins and had made just 29 starts. Below is a chart showing the 21 perfect games in major league history, and the number of career wins, starts, and innings pitched each pitcher had heading into that game. Only Charlie Robertson, also of the White Sox, had fewer career wins before his perfect game than Humber.
*Stats according to Elias Sports Bureau
**Individual game logs not available; career stats through season prior to perfect game
Humber, drafted third overall by the New York Mets in the 2004 draft (one spot after Verlander), is the seventh former Met to throw a no-hitter. He joins Hideo Nomo, David Cone, Doc Gooden, Mike Scott, Tom Seaver, and Nolan Ryan (who threw seven no-hitters after leaving New York). Meanwhile, the Mets, now in their 51st season, have never had a no-hitter.