Yusmeiro Petit is the journiest of journeymen, an earnest scuffler trying to find a place in the ever-changing world of major league starting rotations.
But now he is not only a historical footnote, which is not a bad fallback position, but a vital member of the ever-changing world of the San Francisco Giants starting rotation.
Petit, who just set a major league record set by Mark Buehrle by retiring 46 consecutive hitters, is now the pitcher being asked to sew up the fraying Giants rotation.
It is worth noting that his streak started on July 22 making a spot-start in Philadelphia for the now-post-surgical Matt Cain, and he broke it Thursday making a spot start for the pre-bullpen Tim Lincecum.
And while this particular achievement is only slightly more impressive than his near-perfect game a year ago against Arizona, it is his role in the new Madison Bumgarner-Tim Hudson-Jake Peavy-Ryan Vogelsong rotation that makes him a fan favorite, on a team that can use all the fan favorites it can get.
Petit, who broke the record by striking out Colorado’s Charlie Culberson in the third inning of the Giants' 4-1 series-clinching win over Colorado, may be the most ordinary of pitchers (3-3, 3.59/17-24, 4.84 lifetime), but the Giants have thinned their margin for error down to the sub-atomic level, so Petit will need to be more than just a statistical anomaly.
[RELATED: Anatomy of an MLB record: How Petit made history]
In other words, now that he can space an opponent’s hit here or there (it is perfectly Petit to give up the streak-breaking single to pitcher Jordan Lyles), he gets a chance to prove what he really wants to be -- more than a drink-winning bar trivia answer.
Namely, a full-fledged reliable starting pitcher for a playoff team.