Extra Baggs: Petit battles small sample size scrutiny

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Extra Baggs: Petit battles small sample size scrutiny
September 22, 2013, 11:15 pm
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He’s gotten so much better with his secondary pitches, his curve, cutter and changeup
Bruce Bochy on Yusmeiro Petit

NEW YORK – The Giants will evaluate their roster after the season and try to decide how to think about reshaping their rotation.

Will they re-sign Tim Lincecum? What should happen with Ryan Vogelsong? How much can they rely on those guys next season?

And what the heck can we make of Yusmeiro Petit?

Petit has made just six starts since joining the Giants from the holding tank at Triple-A Fresno. Petit has a 2.54 ERA over those starts, and the Giants have won all of them.

It is a small sample size, though. And the baseball road is littered with the Ryan Sadowskis of the world, who burst onto the scene only to fizzle just as quickly.

Maybe the Giants won’t jot down 30-plus starts for Petit out of the chute. But it’s clear that he’s winning a place, and opening eyes. He’s under club control for three more seasons and won’t be expensive as a first-year arbitration player. But since he’s out of minor league options, he’d have to make the club next spring or perhaps be lost on a waiver claim.

Sure, he’s gone unclaimed twice in the last two years. But that probably wouldn’t happen again. Not when Petit has shown the Giants so much over these six starts.

It’s not that he’s won them or that he has gotten results. It’s the way he’s gotten them.

“He’s gotten so much better with his secondary pitches, his curve, cutter and changeup,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You look at the games he’s won, Colorado, Arizona and on the big stage here (at Yankee Stadium), and he’s really done a good job of pitching well.”

He has done well in some notorious hitter’s parks. And there was that night at Third and King when he came within one strike and maybe two feet of turf from throwing a perfect game.

Petit seems to sense that he is changing minds. But he knows that one seven-spot would change them back just as quickly. People are quick to accept information that confirms their beliefs, and getting tagged would do that.

So he knows he has to keep doing what he’s doing – even on a day like Sunday, when the Mariano Rivera celebration kept to the schedule as fastidiously as a bloated Oscars telecast.

[RELATED: Giants' kids write their own Bronx tale on Mariano Rivera Day]

“It was supposed to be 1:38,” Petit said. “Then it was 1:38. I went down to the cage to throw some more.”

He did not begrudge the Yankees or Rivera their day, though. Quite the opposite.

“Today was a big day,” he said. “This one is important for us, important for me.”

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