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. Dodgers “trying hard” to get Joaquin Benoit from Padres

    Jul 31, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    Joaquin Benoit

    Because the Dodgers can apparently never have too many current and former closers in the bullpen, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that they’re “trying hard” to acquire Joaquin Benoit from the Padres.

  2. HBT Daily: Breaking down the Jon Lester-Yoenis Cespedes trade

    Jul 31, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    It’s a win-win from where I’m sitting. In my basement studio. With shorts on beneath the suit jacket, even if I’m trying to look like I’m in an office.

  3. Dan Runzler leaves the Giants to go to Japan

    Jul 31, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

    San Francisco released reliever Dan Runzler from Triple-A so that he can sign with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.

  4. Royals release Joe Saunders

    Jul 31, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Joe Saunders AP AP

    Joe Saunders has been released from Triple-A by the Royals, who’re the fourth organization to cut bait on the veteran left-hander this season.

  5. 2014 Trade Deadline Tracker

    Jul 31, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Recapping all of Thursday’s dealings in one spot.

  6. A’s trade Tommy Milone to Twins for Sam Fuld

    Jul 31, 2014, 11:13 AM EDT

    Tommy Milone Getty Getty Images

    Tommy Milone was the odd man out in the A’s rotation before today, so there was really no place for him in Oakland following the Jon Lester trade.

  7. This trade can be a winner for Oakland, even if they don’t win it all.

    Jul 31, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

    a's logo

    Because, if you haven’t noticed, they have not sewn up the AL West yet.

  8. Orioles shut down prospect Hunter Harvey with elbow injury

    Jul 31, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

    hunter harvey orioles

    Harvey was selected for the Futures Games as a 19-year-old and started 17 games at low Single-A with a 3.18 ERA and 106/33 K/BB ratio in 88 innings.

  9. The Lester trade is a win-win

    Jul 31, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    cespedes getty Getty Images

    The Sox did not get hosed here. Don’t believe that for a second.

  10. “All indications” Cubs will trade Emilio Bonifacio

    Jul 31, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    Emilio Bonifacio AP

    Emilio Bonifacio was available to the Cubs on a minor-league deal after being released by the Royals in February and now five months later they’re going to get something in return for the 29-year-old speedster.

  11. 30 Seconds to Know: the trade deadline is not really a deadline

    Jul 31, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

    30 Seconds To Know

    It just gets more complicated to make a trade after 4pm today.

  12. Corey Kluber tossed an 85-pitch shutout last night

    Jul 31, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT

    Corey Kluber Getty Images

    It was quite a tribute to Greg Maddux, actually.

  13. Matt Kemp is sizzling since the break, plays the hero again last night

    Jul 31, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Matt Kemp AP

    Trade rumors? Heck, he looks like he’s going to be a key piece for the Dodgers down the stretch.

  14. The State of the Trade Deadline: Yesterday was pretty sleepy. Will general managers wake up today?

    Jul 31, 2014, 8:10 AM EDT

    Jon Lester

    The State of the Trade Deadline, eight hours before the music stops.

  15. And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 31, 2014, 6:59 AM EDT

    Heart

    Always go 100%. Even if you’re not totally into what you’re doing. That includes singing power ballads.

  16. Marlins, White Sox “have discussed” a John Danks trade

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT

    john danks getty Getty Images

    From FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi comes word that the Marlins and White Sox “have discussed a possible trade” involving left-handed starter John Danks.

  17. Giants expected to release second baseman Dan Uggla

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:02 PM EDT

    uggla giants getty Getty Images

    Dan Uggla’s stay with the Giants lasted nine days. MLB.com’s Chris Haft reports that San Francisco has released the veteran second baseman, who went 0-for-11 with a walk and six strikeouts in four games after being called up from Triple-A Fresno on July 25.

  18. Video: Manny Machado makes a ridiculous throw

    Jul 30, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    manny machado getty Getty Images

    Albert Pujols can barely move these days and for some reason went with a pop-up slide into first base, but this throw on Wednesday night from Manny Machado was still fantastic …

Featured video

The Jon Lester-Yoenis Cespedes trade is a win-win
Top 10 MLB Player Searches