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Yusmeiro Petit so far from and so close to perfection

Sep 7, 2013, 1:09 AM EDT

Yusmeiro Petit, Eric Chavez AP

Yusmeiro Petit was one pitch away from what might have been the most unlikely perfect game of all-time. Inches really. The 2-2 pitch to Eric Chavez easily could have been called a strike in a typical situation, even without the help overzealous umpires sometimes give in no-hitter situations.

Then Hunter Pence came up just short on Eric Chavez’s liner. In any ballpark besides AT&T Park, it would have been more likely to be an out. Because of the depth and the angle of the wall in right, right fielders in AT&T cheat more towards center than anywhere else. Pence made his best effort to come up with the ball; if he had been shaded one or two steps to his left, he may have gotten it.

As is, Philip Humber is probably the weakest pitcher to throw a perfect game, but his feat last April came against a pretty awful Mariners lineup. And considering that he had a fine 3.75 ERA in the year before his perfect game, he was certainly held in higher regard then than Petit is.

Because of injuries, Dallas Braden hasn’t done much at all since his perfect game in 2010, but he was a fine pitcher while healthy. Len Barker, who pitched his perfect game in 1981, is known now as a free agent bust, but he led the AL in strikeouts in both 1980 and 1981. Charlie Robertson, who threw the second perfect game after 1900, finished up his career 49-80 and probably ranks next in line after Humber.

I’m still going with Petit, though. The one-time Mets prospect entered the night 12-20 with a 5.37 ERA as a major leaguer. In eight seasons in Triple-A, he was 31-32 with a 4,36 ERA. Two years ago, he pitched in the Mexican League.

And his near perfect game came against a team that’s had playoff aspirations for most of the year. The Diamondbacks entered the night fifth in the NL in runs scored.

But there was Petit setting them all down quickly with his high-80s fastball. He threw just 95 pitches in the game.  I can’t speak for the whole contest, but for those last two innings, all of those pitches ended up right where he wanted them to. With a little more luck, he would have entered the record books as just the 22nd pitcher since 1900 to achieve perfection. He didn’t get there, but he took a big step towards accomplishing another goal: achieving a spot in the Giants’ 2014 rotation.

  1. joelgold - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    One out, one strike away from perfection. You just never know when you might catch lightning in a bottle. A one hit shut out is pretty good, but…….

  2. Old Gator - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Still a hell of a game. Maybe he’s finally realizing some of the promise he showed as a rookie with the Feesh eight years ago.

  3. hildezero - Sep 7, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    No he’s not. This Petit guy is wack. That’s why this author was trying to say he’s weak and that’s why he’s no longer with the Marlins and D-backs.

  4. mrpinkca - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    So little solace in the Maddux for him…

    • Jason Lukehart - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      Petit would have been only the 5th pitcher to toss a perfect Maddux (D.Martinez, K.Rogers, D.Cone, P.Humber).

  5. dcfan4life - Sep 7, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    Memories of Mike Mussinas 9 and 2/3s innings of perfection…

    • chad10 - Sep 7, 2013 at 7:17 AM

      Milt Pappas.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        Pappas lost his perfecto on a walk on a close pitch, but got his no-hitter.

  6. duckandabluesailor - Sep 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Dave Stieb…

  7. negaduck - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    koji uehara just retired 27 straight batters, but it took him 9 games to do it.

  8. globalwork90 - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    $85 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…And whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids. Heres where I went,go to this site home tab for more detail—>>>

    • negaduck - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      I like your style. Do you want to go get some fried chicken with me, and maybe help me paint my living room?

  9. jrocknstuff - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Hell of a rack on Petit’s wife though.

  10. nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Matthew: Robertson’s was the 3rd perfecto after 1900 (Cy Young 1904 and Addie Joss 1908). And Don Larsen has to be on the list of unlikely perfection. Journeyman blanks the defending WS champs in the next year’s World Series?

  11. fasteddy415 - Sep 7, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    A Die Hard Giants Fan who needs help! Please take a moment to read his story:

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