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Can a Chicago pitcher be perfect?

  • As you would expect, Philip Humber's perfect game for the Sox in 2012 came with an ice water shower.
As you would expect, Philip Humber's perfect game for the Sox in 2012… (Getty Images )
April 23, 2013|By Ryan Smith | For RedEye

Can anyone on the White Sox or Cubs be this season's Philip Humber?

Even though the journeyman pitcher tossed one of the most unlikely of the 23 perfect games in major league history for the Sox in 2012, the odds still are astronomical—about 1 in 20,000—and the North Siders have yet to notch one in their long and storied history.

2K Sports has us thinking about it because the company is in the midst of its Perfect Game Challenge, in which gamers have logged more than 500,000 attempts at flawless pitching performances on "MLB 2K13" to win a piece of a $1 million pie. (For more on the contest, click here.)

Because the best grades are awarded for perfect games achieved using the worst possible pitchers, thus increasing gamers' odds of winning cash, it's translated into flawless performances for nearly every starter in Chicago's virtual rotations (yep, including nine from Scott Feldman and six from Gavin Floyd). According to 2K Sports, Illinois gamers have tossed 55 perfect games in 2013, which ranks ninth in the country.

So let's handicap the odds of someone throwing a real-life perfect game for a Chicago team in 2013.

CUBS

Jeff Samardzija: 1 in 1,500

The former Notre Dame wideout probably has a better chance of catching the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl than throwing a perfect game, but his overpowering stuff likely means the Cubs' best opportunity at perfection.

Carlos Villanueva: 1 in 1,700

The big right-hander has enjoyed a hot start to the season, but not "perfect game" hot.

Edwin Jackson: 1 in 2,100

At 0-3, even a simple win feels far away for the Cubs' new acquisition.

Travis Wood: 1 in 2,300

Remember, this is Travis Wood, not Kerry.

Scott Feldman: 1 in 3,000

Right now he's allowing way more than a hit or walk an inning. Asking for none over nine innings is too much to ask.

WHITE SOX

Chris Sale: 1 in 1,300

Chicago's flamethrowing lefty represents Chicago's best shot at perfection. Still, it's a lot to ask of the 24-year-old.

Jake Peavy: 1 in 1,600

He's pitched like his former All-Star self lately, but he didn't even get close to a perfect game in his 2007 Cy Young year.

Jose Quintana: 1 in 1,800

He gave up only one hit in seven innings against Cleveland earlier this month.

Gavin Floyd: 1 in 2,400

Not exactly a strikeout king, Floyd would need an insane amount of help from his defense. And a lot of luck.

Dylan Axelrod: 1 in 2,700

Give an infinite amount of monkeys and infinite amount of typewriters, as the saying goes, and one will eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare. Likewise, Axelrod probably needs thousands of starts, not the 25 or so he's likely to get this season, to be perfect.

Ryan Smith is a RedEye special contributor.

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