Yusmeiro Petit now owns a pretty solid Major League Baseball record.
One day, I’ll tell my kid I saw Yusmeiro Petit pitch. She’ll say “Who?” I’ll tell a guy in my fantasy football league in New York in three days that I saw Yusmeiro Petit pitch, and he’ll say the same thing.
He has a career 4.84 ERA. This year, at 29, is his first spending a full year at the major league level. After four partial years in the majors, he was released and spent a year in Mexico where the Giants plucked him to be AAA depth and a backup if all the major league backups are exhausted.
Baseball-Reference lists the most similar pitcher to him as Dave Telgheder.
His career WAR 1.2 (according to B-Ref).
Oh, and he was one out…literal inches…from the 25th Perfect Game* in MLB history.
Baseball is weird.
I had no idea before yesterday that this record was being closed in on. I feel like a heel about that. It just hadn’t crossed my eyeline. I’m not sure anyone was even thinking it when Lincecum got pulled from his start, because of course we were thinking about Lincecum.
But this is a legitimate record. A lot of records seem to be a kind of coincidence. The-most-0-2-counts-with-runners-on-third-base-and-left-handers-at-bat kind of thing. But consecutive batters retired is a real record. It’s easy to define, easy to see and easy to understand. When it comes to things we know for a fact from the early days of baseball, before splits and stats and anything other than box scores in the newspaper, we can quantify this. Any pitcher has had a chance to compete for this. Every one of them tried for it.
Yusmeiro Petit has it.
Maybe this is justice for that amazing Perfect Game bid that fell just short. Maybe this only lasts three weeks before some guy like David Price, a name we’d expect, takes it over.
But Yusmeiro Petit, a major league journeyman at 29, a reclamation project that only the Giants keep pulling out of places, a name which I still want to mispronounce in French when I read it, he has the record for now.
Hell, I’ll remember. Giants fans will remember. It doesn’t matter how random it seems, how inexplicable it is to think that this unheralded guy did it, we’ll remember.
You ask me why I love baseball more than football, I might just answer Yusmeiro Petit. Maybe after Ryan Vogelsong. Maybe with.
Just don’t respond with “Who?” Not for a few more years.
* – Armando Galaragga has one in my book. And he is the reason Instant Replay exists, even if it took too long to get.