It tore me to pieces watching Hunter Pence try his hardest for that line drive, watching Hector Sanchez drop his glove on those two sliders to Eric Chavez that might have stood a chance as a pitcher’s strike if framed, all the while knowing what my wife said is probably true: “He will never get a chance like this again.” High 80’s fastball with a decent slider and change, and you can read about his history from a good article by a former Baseball America writer here, his history of showcased talent is a lot closer to Philip Humber than it is to Matt Cain.
I really feel awful doing this to you, but wanting another perfect game reminded me of this overplayed commercial:
“We want more, we want more.”
We should be grateful that Yusmeiro Petit gave us, the fans, a remarkable performance, one that we won’t soon forget. It will not live in the history books as a perfect game, sure, but now, how will we be able to watch a perfect game without hearing or thinking about Yu Darvish, Armando Galarraga or Petit’s name mentioned in the final out, or when there are two strikes on the hitter, as was the case with Petit.
The Giants are only one of eight National League franchises to be on the winning side of a perfect game, six of those franchises are active, and the Philadelphia Phillies have two PG’s they can brag about. The American League has five more perfect games recorded in their history, with the Yankees owning three of them including Don Larsen‘s World Series performance. It is comical to me that of the last four perfect games, the Tampa Bay Rays have been the zeroed in three of them. I’m sure it’s not funny to them or their fans, but you know how it goes.
I was going to look at the trends of no hitters, but holy moly this list is long. Thanks to recent history, you don’t have to look far for two no-hitters in the same season when Seattle did it twice in 2012 with Felix Hernandez‘s perfecto, and their six-pitcher no-no-no-no-no-no hitter that included familiar names like Kevin Millwood and Brandon League.
From a statistical standpoint, it doesn’t appear to be that Petit had the best night overall, with a FIP that was not negative, and a strikeout total that was in the single digits, but that doesn’t make it an unspectacular performance as his zero walks in nine innings and 92 game score in 95 pitches would rightly suggest. Lincecum’s no hitter does rank ahead of Petit’s one-hitter on the game score chart, granted Timmy had thirteen strikeouts but also threw fifty-three more pitches in nine innings, thanks in part to four walks.
All in all, was a great game to watch — a half-game for me since I was able to start my watching in the fifth inning — and gosh darnit I wish Eric Chavez would have had an at bat more like Chris Owings did when he hopelessly swung at three sliders, making Petit look like Sergio Romo. One hit, normally welcome by anybody, was too much last night, but it shouldn’t take away from what an awesome night Petit, the coaches, the scouts, and the defense (I’m looking at you Juan Perez and Joaquin Arias) had. Here’s to you, Yusmeiro, and the probably naive hope that maybe you’ve turned a corner in your pitching career and may have helped the Giants shore up their need for starting pitching in 2014.