Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Johnny Cueto expected to return to Reds’ rotation Sunday

    May 27, 2015, 11:27 PM EDT

    cueto getty Getty Images

    Reds ace Johnny Cueto was scratched from a start last week after experiencing stiffness in his right elbow, but an MRI taken Tuesday afternoon came up clean …

  2. Video: Bryce Harper slugs his 18th home run

    May 27, 2015, 10:14 PM EDT

    bryce harper getty Getty Images

    Harper has slugged 13 home runs over his last 19 games.

  3. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak: Matt Adams out 3-4 months, possibly the year, with torn quad

    May 27, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    matt adams getty Getty Images

    Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams tore his right quadriceps muscle Tuesday while legging out a double.

  4. Dodgers designate Sergio Santos for assignment

    May 27, 2015, 8:23 PM EDT

    sergio santos getty Getty Images

    Santos had registered an underwhelming 4.73 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and 15/7 K/BB ratio in 13 1/3 innings of relief this season for the Dodgers.

  5. Video: Jimmy Paredes stole home

    May 27, 2015, 7:18 PM EDT

    jimmy paredes getty Getty Images

    Just call him Jimmy “The Jet” Paredes.

  6. Red Sox acquire outfielder Carlos Peguero from Rangers

    May 27, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    peguero getty Getty Images

    Peguero was designated for assignment by the Rangers on May 20 after batting .186/.310/.414 with four home runs and nine RBI in 84 plate appearances.

  7. Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams out indefinitely with torn quadriceps, may need surgery

    May 27, 2015, 5:19 PM EDT

    matt adams cardinals getty Getty Images

    Adams was off to a slow start this season, but he’s hit .277 with a .770 OPS in 320 games for the Cardinals since debuting in 2012.

  8. Al Kaline’s last game

    May 27, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT

    Portrait of Al Kaline

    Everything ends badly. Otherwise it wouldn’t end.

  9. Scott Kazmir leaves the Tigers-Athletics game with an apparent injury

    May 27, 2015, 4:34 PM EDT

    Scott Kazmir AP

    A bad season for the A’s is starting to look worse.

  10. Felix Hernandez and Chris Archer dueled. Chris Archer, by one measure, pitched better. Felix Hernandez won.

    May 27, 2015, 3:36 PM EDT

    Felix Hernandez Getty Images

    Game scores are interesting things. Wins — the team kind, anyway — are far more satisfying.

  11. Orioles drop $5 million outfielder Alejandro De Aza

    May 27, 2015, 2:18 PM EDT

    Alejandro De Aza AP AP

    De Aza played very well for the Orioles down the stretch last season.

  12. Angels acquire outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Mets

    May 27, 2015, 12:50 PM EDT

    Kirk Nieuwenhuis Getty Images

    Several reports last week had the Angels in the market for outfield help.

  13. The “Selig Experience” attraction opens this week at Miller Park

    May 27, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in New York Reuters

    “A multimedia show featuring a virtual Selig.” Yes, that’s actually a thing.

  14. Matt Wieters begins rehab assignment with two hits

    May 27, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Matt Wieters Getty Getty Images

    He’s about 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery.

  15. Cubs release left-hander Phil Coke

    May 27, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Phil Coke throws against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks) AP

    Coke signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Cubs this offseason.

  16. Buster Olney: The Marlins should hire A-Rod to be their next manager

    May 27, 2015, 11:01 AM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez AP

    And you think my A-Rod trolling kung-fu is the best. Heck, I’m an amateur.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (3303)
  2. J. Lucroy (3135)
  3. D. Wright (2945)
  4. Y. Puig (2893)
  5. R. Castillo (2701)
  1. D. Travis (2632)
  2. A. Pujols (2501)
  3. J. Cueto (2492)
  4. A. Garcia (2474)
  5. P. Fielder (2374)