A long way from perfect, Humber starts over

Humber qualifies.

He's thrilled for the fresh start and has responded by throwing strikes with the same life on his pitches he had in White Sox camp last March.

"'I've thrown the ball pretty well,'' Humber said. "The last (few) starts my fastball command has been good. The other thing I've been trying to improve is pitching off the fastball, staying ahead in the count.''

He's has a lot of former teammates in his corner.

"I was glad to see Philip go to Houston,'' Pierzynski said. "He gave us everything he had in Chicago, and you want to see him get another chance. When he's on, his stuff is more than good enough. When hitters start chasing his slider, good things happen.''

Magical things, even.

Would Humber have been better off if the Mariners had gotten a hit off him? Or if Ryan had laid off that 3-2 pitch in the ninth, leaving him with a no-hitter, not the rarest gem for a pitcher?

"I don't know if I can answer that,'' Humber said. "It all happened for a reason. I learned a lot last year. I had to deal with success, and I had to deal with failure. I will say this: There would have been less attention on me if I hadn't thrown the perfect game.''

No question. But then Barack Obama wouldn't have called with his regards. Humber wouldn't have been asked to read a Top 10 list for David Letterman. And he wouldn't have the keepsakes of a lifetime under the bed in the guest room.


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