For as solid as Jake Peavy and Chris Sale have been at the front end of the White Sox rotation this season, Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber have been just as shaky.
Floyd showed improvement in Fridays start in the series opener against Houston, despite taking the loss.
Now Humber gets his opportunity to at least match Floyds effort in a four-hit, four-run performance in Chicagos 8-3 loss. Humber pitches today as the Sox go for the series win in the finale of the three-game, interleague series against the Astros at U.S. Cellular Field.
Humber enters at 2-3 with a 5.68 ERA. Over his past eight starts since throwing a perfect game in Seattle on April 21, Humber is 1-3 with a 7.38 ERA. Yet, hes showing signs of improvement.
Two starts ago he earned the win against Tampa Bay on May 29, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. That marked Humbers longest start of the season other than the perfect game.
You know, two starts ago in Tampa, had a good game, then last game a couple pitches cost me a good game (in last start against Seattle), Humber said Saturday. It's about being more consistent and making more quality pitches. I feel good about where I'm at, I feel like I'm close to where I want to be.
Humber has had particular trouble at home where he hasnt won in almost a year. He is 0-6 with a 5.72 ERA in his last 13 starts at U.S. Cellular. He hasnt won on the South Side since June 12 last season against Oakland.
Pitching coach Don Cooper said its a matter of both Humber and Floyd becoming steadier in their starts. The Sox remain confident in their abilities.
Him and Gavin obviously have had some rough stretches, Cooper said Saturday. I thought Gavin was better (Friday) night, but you know, a pitching slump is not like a hitting slump. He limited mistakes (Friday) night, but the ones he made, Gavin got hurt. When a guy is going good, I dont care who it is, hes throwing enough quality pitches.
When you are not, thats not happening. We have two guys that we are trying to bring out of their inconsistency to more consistency. Weve seen them good before and we know what it looks like.
The Sox and their fans hope they see that in Humber today.