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.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.