The San Francisco Giants’ Yusmeiro Petit set the major league record this afternoon for consecutive batters retired at 46. He broke the former record of 45, set by Mark Buehrle on July 29th, 2009, by retiring the first eight Colorado Rockies in today’s game before Jordan Lyles, the pitcher, got a third-inning double to left field, to end the streak at 46. In setting the record, Petit eclipsed the National League record of 41, set by San Francisco’s Jim Barr, in 1972.
Over his last seven appearances prior to today, Petit had amassed a streak of 38, beginning back on July 22 against the Philadelphia Phillies, when he retired Grady Sizemore on a grounder to the infield.
On July 26th, he pitched two flawless innings against the Dodgers; July 28th, two innings against the Pirates; August 7th, one inning against Milwaukee; August 10th, one inning against the Royals; August 19th, one inning against the Cubs; and four-and-third innings on the 23rd against the Nationals, where he came in for an ineffective Tim Lincecum in a 6-2 loss.
In that game, again as a reliever, Petit faced thirteen batters and retired them all, bringing his total to 38. In being named Lincecum’s temporary replacement in the starting rotation, Petit has changed his role. All season he has performed more effectively as a reliever than as a starter, posting a 6.32 ERA when starting a game, as opposed to 1.84 when he comes into a game already in progress.
So in starting today’s game, Petit had the odds against him, especially with Giants-killer, Charlie Blackmon leading off the game.
He had enough adrenaline to capture the record, before pitcher Jordan Lyles ended the streak.