Petit aims to be more than drink-winning bar trivia answer

Petit aims to be more than drink-winning bar trivia answer
August 28, 2014, 2:30 pm
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Now that he can space an opponent’s hit here or there, he gets a chance to prove what he really wants to be -- more than a drink-winning bar trivia answer.
Ray Ratto on Yusmeiro Petit

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.

[NEWS: Petit breaks Buehrle's MLB record]

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.

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