While most of the baseball-loving nation was forced to watch another a typical Red Sox-Yankees four-hour marathon, Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in big-league history Saturday in the White Sox’s 4-0 win over the Mariners.
The perfect game is largely the providence of great pitchers, but Humber is certainly more Dallas Braden than Roy Halladay or Randy Johnson. The worst pitcher to throw a perfect game was Charlie Robertson, a right-hander for the White Sox who shut down the Tigers on April 30, 1922. Next on the that list would be Cleveland’s Len Barker, who was perfect against the Jays on May 15, 1981. Humber and Braden could both finish up with significantly better careers than those two, though there’s still plenty of time left for that to be decided.
As for the team Humber shut down, well, yeah, the Mariners are really that bad. Again. They entered the day next-to-last in the AL in scoring, with a .235 average and 11 homers in 15 games. They finished last year last in the majors in runs scored, average, OBP and slugging. The 2012 lineup figured to be improved with Jesus Montero’s addition and another year of growth from Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager, but it hasn’t materialized yet.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.