04/22/12 4:46 PM ET
Humber still trying to process perfection
By Josh Liebeskind / MLB.com
"I'm thinking he's got to throw a fastball," Mariners infielder Brendan Ryan said. "There's no way he's going to want to take a chance and walk me on the last pitch. No chance. I'm staying on the fastball, 100 percent. There's no way he's throwing the slider. And he threw the slider. I cannot believe he threw the chase slider there."
On the other hand, Humber is still trying to wrap his head around the greatest individual accomplishment he's achieved in his professional career. It was just the second start of the season for the right-hander, after his spot was skipped in the rotation earlier in the year because of a rain delay.
The ever-humble Humber said Sunday morning he received a mass influx of calls and texts following the perfect game. And even though there were easily over 100 texts in his inbox, he replied to every single one.
"I didn't get to call as many people as I would've liked to, but I got to text most everybody," he said. "At least let them know I got their messages and I appreciated it.
"It's just really neat, there's a lot of people I hadn't heard from in a long time, and a lot of people I wanted to hear from, maybe didn't have their number, stuff like that. But somehow they got in touch with me and were able to be a part of it. It was just fun to be able to share it with some people that had impacted my life and my career to this point."
One of those people that reached out to Humber was Mark Buehrle, who sent the righty a text immediately following Saturday's game. The former White Sox pitcher is the owner of both a perfect game and a no-hitter, and was a mentor of sorts to Humber last season.
"Actually, I probably need to ask him, there are some things that I don't know exactly how I'm going to handle," Humber said. "He's been through it before, and so I want to definitely use him."
It'll be a relief for Humber to find out what parts of the historic game should be sent to the Hall of Fame and what he gets to keep. He presumes the game ball will be one of the items sent to Cooperstown, and to avoid the risk he'd lose it or play catch with it, he gave it to clubhouse manager Vince Fresso. But as far as other mementos, he'll take it all.
"Hopefully I get to keep as much of it as I can," Humber said. "I doubt I'll throw one again, so it would be nice to have as much to remember it by as I can."
De Aza's production a welcome sight
SEATTLE -- Alejandro De Aza hasn't played in more than 54 games during a single Major League season. But 14 contests into the 2012 campaign, the center fielder has shown he's ready to be a bona fide top of the order batter.
De Aza, who is batting .268 with 13 runs, three home runs and seven RBIs from the leadoff spot, received his first off day on Sunday from White Sox manager Robin Ventura. Ventura said De Aza wasn't "feeling that good" Saturday, but didn't want to scratch him from the lineup too close to game time.
The first-year White Sox manager emphasized it was just a routine day off, and that he's been very pleased with what De Aza's been giving him from the leadoff spot.
"Not only getting on, but he works counts, does everything you want your leadoff hitter to do," Ventura said. "I'm very happy with what he's done.
"I think to start to the game he's kind of like your regular leadoff hitter, where he's working counts and doing things, but once it turns over, he's just another hitter. It's not like he's a gimmick at the top, he's a quality hitter."
Lillibridge starts in front of family, friends
SEATTLE -- White Sox utility player Brent Lillibridge received a rare start on Sunday, replacing regular left fielder Dayan Viciedo for the series finale in Seattle. Lillibridge is a Seattle-area native.
Lillibridge had an inkling that he would start, but once he saw his name in the lineup, he sent out the mass text to family and friends.
"It will be fun, obviously, for the family to come see me play, instead of just watching," Lillibridge said. "I'm ready to go, hoping to do some damage offensively and play some good defense."
Lillibridge collected his first hit of the season on Saturday, hitting a pinch-hit single to left in the ninth inning, and singled and stole second leading off Sunday's game. He had gone hitless in his first nine at-bats of the season.
Philip Humber's perfect game on Saturday was the third a White Sox pitcher has thrown. That ties them with Yankees as the only teams with three perfect games. The White Sox and Red Sox both have 18 no-hitters, which is good for second place to the Dodgers (20).
Paul Konerko is just two home runs shy of 400 for his career. Konerko hit one on Saturday in his first at-bat, and barely missed another home run in his second plate appearance, as the ball bounced off the top of the left-field wall.
Josh Liebeskind is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.