Whenever a non-ace throws a no-hitter there are always lots of articles wondering if they’ll build off that historic performance and suddenly become a significantly better pitcher.
It’s sort of a silly notion to begin with, as if allowing zero hits as opposed to, say, two hits can drastically alter someone’s career. In the case of Philip Humber he took it one step further by throwing a perfect game on April 21 … and has been absolutely awful since.
Humber followed up his perfect game by coughing up a career-high nine runs against the Red Sox on April 26, walked six batters in a mediocre start versus the Indians on May 2, and then faced Cleveland again this afternoon.
His final line? Eight runs in 2.1 innings.
Add it all up and he’s allowed 20 runs in 13.1 innings since throwing the perfect game, with nearly as many walks (11) than strikeouts (12), five homers, and a .350 opponents’ batting average.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.