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.
A lot of people in the comments to Bill’s posts on the Urena-Acuña posts last night and in response to my rant about it in the recaps and on Twitter this morning, have talked about how silly writers don’t understand the culture of baseball and how pitchers have been brushing back batters for years. One guy said that old players would laugh at me for my naive notions about such matters and that, to make it as a pitcher, you have to brush guys back and reclaim the inside of the plate and make the hitter uncomfortable in the box.
I think that’s all b.s. obviously, but they are right about one thing: I don’t play baseball and baseball players probably know this stuff better. With that in mind, I’m going to defer to seven-time All-Star Michael Young’s thoughts on the matter of brushbacks and purpose pitches:
If you think you know more about this than Michael Young, you now have his Twitter handle and can tell him yourself.