What to expect from Humber tonight

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What to expect from Humber tonight

The first perfect game ever thrown was on June 12, 1880, by Lee Richmond of the long-defunct Worcester Ruby Legs. To further illustrate the point that the game was thrown in 1880, it was umpired by a man named Foghorn.

We don't have any game-by-game data for Richmond, but we do know 1880 was the best year of his career -- he went 32-32 with a 2.15 ERA in 590 innings.

Just five days after Richmond threw his perfecto, Hall of Famer Monte Ward didn't allow any Buffalo Bisons to reach base in the second-ever perfect game. He turned in an outstanding season that year as well, going 39-24 with a 1.74 ERA in 595 innings pitched.

Baseball-Reference doesn't have game-by-game data for Cy Young or Addie Joss, both of whom threw perfect games in the early 1900s. Both Hall of Fame hurlers were outstanding in their perfect game years, though, with Young leading the league in shutouts in 1904 and Joss leading the league in ERA in 1908.

Finally, we have game-by-game data for every perfect game-throwing pitcher from Charlie Robertson on. So here's how each pitcher fared in their next start after being perfect:

Charlie Robertson (1922): 6 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K vs. Cleveland

Future Hall of Fame inductee Tris Speaker picked up two hits, as did Indians starter Allan Sothoron as Robertson was knocked around in a 6-3 loss to the Tribe. Robertson also balked in the game.

Don Larsen (1957): 1.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K vs. Boston

Because Larsen's perfect game came in the World Series, he didn't start another game for over six months before the Red Sox torched him on April 20, 1957. Larsen got through the first inning unscathed after allowing the first two men to reach, but his second inning went as follows: single, single, double, flyout, double. He was replaced by Bob Turley, who wound up walking Jimmy Piersall with the bases loaded to charge the fourth run to Larsen.

Jim Bunning (1964): 7 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K vs. St. Louis

A Bunning-Bob Gibson duel didn't exactly live up to what probably was a lot of hype, as Bunning was far from perfect while Gibson allowed four runs with three walks and two home runs (one to Dick Allen) in eight innings. Bunning immediately lost his chance at repeating his perfect game when Curt Flood doubled to lead off the bottom of the first.

Sandy Koufax (1965): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K vs. Chicago

Five days after tossing his perfect game against the Cubs in Los Angeles, Koufax couldn't repeat the same success at Wrigley Field. He didn't allow a run through the first five innings, but he served up a two-run home run to Billy Williams in the sixth that was the difference in a 2-1 loss to the North Siders.

Catfish Hunter (1968): 6 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 5 BB, 4 K vs. Minnesota

The eight runs and four homers allowed were both season-highs for Hunter, who turned in his worst start of the season in Minneapolis only six days after throwing a perfect game against the Twins in Oakland. Minnesota plated five in the first, with Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Rich Rollins all going deep in the frame.

Len Barker (1981): 9 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K vs. Seattle

Finally, we reach a really good start following a perfect game. But Barker took the loss, as an RBI double off the bat of Wimpy in the top of the fourth put the Mariners ahead for good.

Mike Witt (1985): 7.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K vs. Minnesota

Witt's perfect game was his last start of 1984, and his 1985 began by allowing a leadoff single to Kirby Puckett. He wound up turning in a solid 1985 season, though, before a career year in 1986.

Tom Browning (1988): 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K vs. San Francisco

Browning dueled with Rick Reuschel through the first five innings before giving up an RBI sacrifice fly to Will Clark in the sixth. Barry Larkin countered with a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning, and Browning earned the victory when Ken Griffey put the Reds ahead in the eighth.

Dennis Martinez (1991): 7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K vs. Philadelphia

El Presidente and the Expos were terrorized by light-hitting shortstop Dickie Thon, who hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh. John Kruk, Ivan Calderon and Darren Daulton also combined to form the most 1991 grouping of players with RBIs ever off Martinez.

Kenny Rogers (1994): 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 2 K vs. the White Sox

Norberto Martin led off the game with a single and later scored on a Julio Franco flyout, and in the fourth, Fraco walked to set up a two-run blast off the bat of Robin Ventura. Darrin Jackson and Lance Johnson knocked Rogers out in the sixth with back-to-back RBI singles. He would make only one more start (another bad one) before the strike hit in August.

David Wells (1998): 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K vs. Boston

By the time Mo Vaughn and John Valentin homered in the fourth inning, Wells had a comfortable 8-0 cushion thanks to the Yankees' blasting of Derek Lowe and John Wasdin.

David Cone (1999): 4 IP, 6 H, 6 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 7 K vs. Cleveland

Following up a perfect game with the Indians' fearsome lineup of the late 90's was no easy task, and Cone quickly ran into trouble in the second, serving up a two-run homer to Russell Branyan. He was otherwise shaky, managing to navigate the third inning without allowing a run despite a walk, single and wild pitch. But things came crashing down in the fourth, as with two outs and Branyan on first Kenny Lofton singled, Omar Vizquel reached on a Chuck Knoblauch error and Robbie Alomar belted a grand slam.

Randy Johnson (2004): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K vs. Florida

After retiring the first six batters he faced, Johnson gave up a run in the third when Luis Castillo singled home Abraham Nunez. But other than that and a sixth-inning homer to Jeff Conine, Johnson was fine.

Mark Buehrle (2009): 6.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K vs. Minnesota

While the final line doesn't reflect it, no start following a perfect game has been as spectacular as Buehrle's on July 28, 2009. He retired the first 17 batters he faced, setting an MLB record in the process, before just barely missing low on a 3-2 offering to Alexi Casilla. Then Metrodome things started to happen, and before you knew it, Minnesota had a 2-0 lead that quickly ballooned to 5-0 in the seventh.

Dallas Braden (2010): 8 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K vs. Los Angeles (AL)

Kendrys Morales hit an RBI single in the sixth and Hideki Matsui followed that with a three-run homer to put a damper on Braden's follow-up outing. His promising career has since been derailed by injuries, although at 28 there's still time for a comeback.

Roy Halladay (2010): 7 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K vs. San Diego

It's funny to say this wasn't one of Halladay's best starts of the season, because it was pretty good in a vacuum. But for Halladay, who went on to win the Cy Young in 2010, it ranked as his 20th-best start of the season as rated by game score.

Average performance: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — If Carlos Rodon starts on the disabled list as expected, the White Sox won't turn to any of their vaunted top prospects in the interim.

The news on Rodon has been encouraging so far as no structural damage has been discovered. Still, the White Sox won't clear Rodon until after he receives a second opinion on Monday. While the length of Rodon's absence won't be determined for several days, the White Sox are certain of one route they won't take — they don't want to disrupt the development of their young starting pitchers. Were a DL trip for Rodon necessary, the White Sox would likely select either Saturday's starter, Dylan Covey, or minor leaguer David Holmberg over their top prospects. Covey made a strong impression on Saturday afternoon with 3 2/3 scoreless innings pitched and the White Sox rallied for a 10-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.

"When you have an opportunity to stabilize action or movement for players it serves them better," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "They get a little more comfortable where they're at. They get comfortable with the staffs they're working with and the information they're gathering, being in a routine. It is a little disruptive going from team to team to team. It happens, but it's not the most conducive (to learning)."

The White Sox are all about development this season. Therefore, they have no plans to call upon Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer or Michael Kopech unless they're A) ready and B) throwing every fifth day in Chicago. Renteria's comments Saturday reiterated Rick Hahn's earlier message, saying the club doesn't want to disrupt the development path.

That puts Covey, a Rule 5 draft pick in December, with a decent opportunity to make the club out of camp. Covey commanded the strike zone on Saturday only hours after Renteria said he hoped to see the young right-hander replicate an Arizona Fall League performance that initially warmed the White Sox up to him.

Aside from a two-out walk in his final inning, Covey was sharp the whole way. He allowed three hits and struck out three.

"My last couple of outings I was definitely feeling the stress," Covey said. "I was kind of pitching a little passive, pitching to not make a mistake instead of just going right after guys. So today and yesterday I just thought I'm just going to throw every pitch with conviction and see what happens. I got a lot of weak contact today and some swings and misses, so I felt good."

Covey threw 44 pitches, 27 for strikes. He potentially could stay in Arizona on Thursday and make an additional minor league start to build arm strength, which would get him to roughly 60 pitches before the regular seasons started.

The White Sox don't officially need a fifth starter until April 9 and they're off the following day. That break could allow the White Sox to start Covey as part of a bullpen day. Covey said he recently changed his mindset after lackluster results in relief this spring. The right-hander has a 6.94 ERA this spring in 11 2/3 innings.

"Obviously my last two outings out of the pen I wasn't getting crushed, but I just wasn't commanding the ball or commanding the count as much as I would like to be," Covey said. "The mistakes get hit a little harder when you're falling behind in the count. Today I wanted to have the mindset of attacking hitters, throwing everything down in the zone and going right after them, and it worked out."

The White Sox blasted six home runs in the contest, including a majestic, go-ahead grand slam by first baseman Danny Hayes in the top of the ninth inning. Hayes is hitting .351/.400/.595 with two homers and is tied for the team lead with 13 RBIs this spring. Jose Abreu, Nick Delmonico, Cody Asche, Everth Cabrera and Jacob May also homered for the White Sox. 

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

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USA TODAY

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While he still has a second opinion ahead and is likely to start 2017 on the disabled list, a clean MRI has Carlos Rodon feeling relieved after a bizarre Thursday.

The White Sox pitcher described Saturday the strange experience he’s had the past few days dealing with soreness in his left bicep.

In the span of 48 hours, Rodon -- who will receive a second opinion on Monday -- went from feeling good enough after a midweek bullpen session to request that his first start be moved up to likely landing on the DL. As he prepares to navigate the rehab process, Rodon is more at ease after an MRI on Friday showed no structural damage.

“(Thursday) was a weird day for me,” Rodon said. “I wasn’t very happy with it. I got that checked out, trying to figure it out.

“I feel better. It’s reassuring.”

“(Your arm is) your tool. It’s concerning. But that’s why you go get those things checked out and make sure everything is ok. That’s what we did.”

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Rodon, who went 9-10 with a 4.04 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 165 innings in 2016, has one more checkup before he’s all clear. He travels to Los Angeles on Monday for an appointment with Dr. Neal ElAttrache. General manager Rick Hahn said Friday that a second opinion is “protocol.”

Though he has already been reassured -- the club’s diagnosis was he had no structural issues after a physical exam and then the clean MRI -- Rodon wouldn’t mind more confirmation. The left-hander said he hadn’t experienced the kind of tightness he suddenly felt in his biceps tendon before Thursday. He could lift his arm above his head, but Rodon said his stuff wasn’t the same. After he informed them, the White Sox determined to be cautious.

“It’s pretty tight up there,” Rodon said. “I’ve never really been that tight. I couldn’t really step on some balls I wanted to throw to get that arm going. So, I had to get it checked out. It didn’t feel too good.”

The White Sox already had Rodon on a delayed schedule where he needed to hit every mark to be ready for the regular season. They did so in hopes of helping him avoid the fatigue he experienced last summer and also reaching the 200-inning mark this season. Now it appears Rodon will begin the season on the DL, according to Hahn.

Though he’d like to start the season on schedule, Rodon wants to make sure he’s physically good to go.

“Just trying to be healthy man,” Rodon said. “You don’t want to go the start of the season and be behind the best guys. You are a tick down from the best guys in the world. It’s not fun pitching when you are not feeling too good. I want to be 100 percent when I’m out there. That gives our team the best chance of winning.”