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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 11:09 PM

There’s a pitcher in Major League baseball right now…one originally scheduled to make his next start Saturday Night…who has an ERA of 7.47 over his last 10 starts. We’ll give you some hints to see if you can figure out who it is.

*He pitches for a contender…

*Every time he looks like he’s got things figured out, he has another bad game.

*He got a lot of publicity early in the season, but then everyone stopped paying attention to him…

*What drew that publicity was A PERFECT GAME!

*That ERA of 7.47 over 10 starts is exactly what’s happened since that perfect game. An airplane horror movie!

*Friday afternoon he was placed on the Disabled List with a right elbow issue after we had already written up the first draft of this article to run just before his next scheduled start!

If you’re an avid baseball fan, you’ve figured it out by now. If you haven’t figured it out by now, then that’s a good signal that you need to start focusing on baseball with 100% attention now that basketball is over! We’re talking about Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox. He threw a perfect game at Seattle back on April 21st in just his second start of the season. Since then, disaster!

HUMBER’S LAST 10 STARTS

7.47 ERA

1.72 WHIP

12 home runs allowed (including two different 3-homer games)

47 to 28 strikeout-to-walk ratio

5.3 innings pitched per start

How do you keep a pitcher like that in your rotation? How do you bench a guy who’s capable of throwing a perfect game?! Those are questions that the White Sox were dealing with before finally placing Humber on the 15-Day Disabled List Friday afternoon. Everybody needs pitching right now as the Sox find themselves stuck in a tight battle at the top the AL Central with the Cleveland Indians and the suddenly hard charging Detroit Tigers.

What’s been most troublesome for the Chisox as they monitored Humber was that he kept showing signs of effectiveness every so often. It’s easy to bench somebody who’s ALWAYS bad. But, when somebody’s inconsistent…alternating bad with good…it’s harder to pull the trigger. Imagine how confused the Sox braintrust must have been looking at this sequence.

FIRST START AFTER PERFECT GAME: A disaster. Nine runs allowed and three home runs in just five innings vs. Boston. But, that can be attributed to a letdown off the perfect game. Strike it up as an off day and try to forget about it.

SECOND START: Technically a quality start vs. Cleveland, with three earned runs allowed in six innings. Not great, particularly with six walks allowed. But, six strikeouts was a good sign…and it was a quality start after all.

THIRD START: Another disaster. Seeing Cleveland for the second time in five days, the Indians roughed him up for eight earned runs in 2.1 innings. Horrible. This is now two really awful starts in three outings, and everyone was worried that the letdown off the perfect game was going to last awhile.

FOURTH START: Nice bounce back vs. Kansas City, with only one earned run allowed in 6.1 innings. He’s BACK! This is the Philip Humber they were expecting to see most times out. The worst is in the rearview mirror. Let’s go win some games.

FIFTH START: More good news. Another quality start, this time against the Chicago Cubs in a rivalry game at Wrigley Field. Isn’t two of something in a row the start of a trend? Sure, the full season ERA was shaky at this time, but Humber had figured everything out again. Smooth sailing form this point forward.

SIXTH START: Uh oh, bad start vs. Minnesota. Five earned runs in only 4.1 innings. And, Minnesota was is struggling this year. Any home loss to the Twins represents losing serve. If the AL Central race is going to be tight this year…you just can’t afford to give anything away.

SEVENTH START: The yo-yo continues with a great outing at Tampa Bay. Humber threw seven innings and only allowed two earned runs. He only allowed one walk…his second best performance in that stat all season after the perfect game. That’s what makes the perfecto so odd…Humber’s having huge control troubles this year! If you’re the White Sox, you’re seeing three quality starts in the last four…and you’re hoping that Humber FINALLY has things figured out.

EIGHTH, NINTH, AND TENTH STARTS: Three bad ones in a row. Humber allowed 14 earned runs in 15.1 innings in unfortunately consistent fashion. Each was basically a replay of the other. Well, except for the game where he allowed three home runs to the Astros of all teams. He really had trouble in good home run environments as the weather warmed up (home games vs. Toronto and Houston). But, he also had trouble on the road against the Dodgers in a good pitcher’s park.

Seeing a pitcher on a yo-yo is troublesome enough, because managers and teammates want consistency. Well, they want GOOD consistency. The yo-yo stopped at the wrong place and now Humber is flailing.

And, placing him on the DL now was probably very smart because he was flailing heading into a HOME game in a great home run park on what was probably going to be a very warm night.

The “How Will the White Sox Replace Humber” storyline is just one of many in play tonight on the final Saturday of Interleague action for 2012. JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK has crunched all the numbers, run all the simulations, and talked things over with our Wise Guy sources to find you the very best Saturday options. Among the games we’re looking at are: Toronto at Miami  early on the MLB Network, Tampa Bay at Philadelphia, the FOX games that include Yankees/Mets, Atlanta/Boston, Dodgers/Angels, and San Francisco/Oakland, plus Cubs/Arizona that will be televised late on MLB.

You can purchase game day releases right here at this website with your credit card. Be sure to take care of business EARLY because of all the daytime action.  We also have great rates for the rest of the season. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453.

You’ve probably seen the ads for early bird football. A Saturday afternoon is the PERFECT time to call and ask about the programs available this fall. Football is a year-round sport at NETWORK. We’ll be running our college football conference previews in July right here in the NOTEBOOK…and we offer the biggest savings on packages to those who make the earliest commitments.

Back Sunday in the NOTEBOOK to talk about the amazing R.A. Dickey of the NY Mets. He’s scheduled for a pitcher’s duel showcase with C.C. Sabathia of the NY Yankees that will be televised nationally in prime time on ESPN (hopefully neither Dickey nor Sabathia will be put on the Disabled List after we write up the preview!). Then, it will be daily baseball through the week as we outline the pennant races upon completion of Interleague play. WALL-TO-WALL BASEBALL in the coming days. Be sure you’re getting the BEST PLAYS ON THE BOARD from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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