CLEVELAND -- Talk about a rough start. Philip Humber gave up home runs to former Cub Kosuke Fukudome and former Glenbrook North standout Jason Kipnis to open the game.
Then he retired 14 straight batters before getting nicked up again in the Indians' 11-2 win on Thursday night. Humber (9-9) allowed seven runs on eight hits in six innings. After standing out as the Sox' best starter before the All-Star break with an 8-5 record and a 3.52 ERA, Humber is 1-3 with a 5.51 ERA.
"It was weird,'' Humber said. "I've never had that happen to me the first two batters of the game going deep. And all of a sudden I was cruising. Then I get a two-out walk and a run scores and I don't know. I didn't feel I threw the ball as bad as the results but every time they needed a hit they got one.''
Had first baseman Dayan Viciedo been able to make a routine putout to finish a double play that cost him a run, and had reliever Addison Reed not allowed Humber's inherited runners to score, the outcome might have been different.
"It's frustrating. It's probably a good lesson for me learning to deal with adversity,'' he said of the game and his second half. "I obviously want to finish the season strong but at the same time I can't try too hard.''
Humber said he is learning lessons as he finishes his first full season in the majors.
"Especially now,'' he said. "Earlier in the year it was kind of a dream. I didn't even know how many starts I would get. I didn't know from one start to the next whether I would be in there or not. I was probably a lot more relaxed than I am right now.''
Humber, who made the team in spring training, will start the season finale on Wednesday, an afternoon game against the Royals.
"I have that last day so I'd like to be driving home with a smile on my face,'' he said. "But either way it's been a great year and I'm definitely thankful for what's happened this year and the opportunities I've had. I want to finish strong but I'm doing all I can, working hard and I have to roll with the punches I guess.''