PHILADELPHIA This could have been what Philip Humber meant when he said he didnt know what his name was doing on this list.
Until Humber made baseball history last week with the White Sox, the last man to throw a perfect game was Roy Halladay, the machine who did it to the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010.
Some four months later, Halladay threw a no-hitter in his first postseason start (against the Cincinnati Reds). The Philadelphia Phillies ace has won the Cy Young Award in both leagues.
Halladay appeared to be in the zone on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park, retiring the first 10 Cubs he faced. A sellout crowd in South Philly (45,261) might have wondered if history was unfolding.
Tony Campana, whos listed at 5-foot-8, made everyone take notice in the fourth inning. He was a blur sprinting down the line, getting underneath the tag and sliding headfirst into first base.
The Perfect Game Watch was over with that bunt single. The Cubs were putting a 5-1 victory in motion.
Campana stole second and scored the games first run when Starlin Castro singled to right-center field. The 25-year-old outfielder has brought a different dimension to this team since the Marlon Byrd trade, and will keep pushing until Brett Jacksons ready to play center.
After watching Campana run out two infield hits, score two runs and steal his fifth base in six games since his promotion from Triple-A Iowa, manager Dale Sveum committed to playing him 80 percent of the time.
Thats awesome, Campana said. That gives me a chance to kind of show what I can do and hopefully I can stay there for a long time.
Since 2005, the Cubs are now 5-1 in their six games against Halladay, who took the loss after giving up three runs in seven innings. Campana liked to think that he disrupted Halladays rhythm.
Definitely, Campana said. Hes usually one of those guys that likes to just get the ball and go and he had to slow down and really pay attention to me a little bit more.
It looked like it was going to be a long night for Paul Maholm, who began his start by giving up back-to-back singles before shutting down the Phillies (9-11) for six innings.
Maholms 100th and final pitch was drilled by Ty Wigginton for a home run in the seventh, but the left-hander still outdueled Halladay.
Hes a great pitcher and you know hes not going to give up a ton, Maholm said. You just got to make sure you make your pitches, get groundballs and do everything you can to make sure that we had a chance to come back in and get some things going.
It took a little while, but luckily I kept throwing up a couple zeroes and the defense was making plays.
You probably didnt see this coming from the Cubs (7-13). Maholm has won his past two starts after getting hammered in his first two. Campana has shown that he can be a game-changer. It turns out Halladay wasnt perfect.
I dont think you ever have any explanation about beating the best pitcher in baseball, Sveum said. It didnt look too good after those first three or four innings. It didnt look like we were going to do a whole heck of a lot off his fastball and his cutter. (But) we fought and scratched and did what we could to get the runs when we had to.