Venezuelan journeyman Yusmeiro Petit came within one out of completing a perfect game for the San Francisco Giants on Friday night. Although Eric Chavez shattered that dream with a single to right field, Petit's scoreless effort caused Twitter to erupt with reaction.
There's a simple explanation for why the 28-year-old has spent so much of this summer in the minors: he takes the mound with ordinary stuff that can be hit hard.
That wasn't true on this special occasion:
48 pitches through a very efficient five innings for Petit; 36 for strikes, fastball at 89-90 w/great location, great curve command.— Ray Woodson (@RayWoodson680) September 7, 2013
The suspense really began building in the seventh and eighth innings. Petit's pursuit of perfection went viral, and most Twitter users were totally confused:
Update: Giants P Yusmeiro Petit is PERFECT through 7 innings. Petit has 5 K as Giants lead DBacks, 2-0.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 7, 2013
Who the heck is Yusmeiro Petit.— Richard Iurilli (@_princeofwhales) September 7, 2013
Who is Yusmeiro Petit never heard of him before— dillon ventura (@dillon_ventura3) September 7, 2013
Literally tho, who is Yusmeiro Petit?— Jon Munshaw (@Jon_Munshaw) September 7, 2013
Although Petit has pitched parts of six major league seasons, he was probably the subject of more tweets in one night than he was during all those previous performances combined:
Trending Worldwide: Yusmeiro Petit— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) September 7, 2013
The ninth inning rolled around with the right-hander flaunting an astonishingly efficient pitch count (especially when compared to Tim Lincecum's special night earlier in 2013). There was zero doubt about him staying in for a chance at immortality.
Petit recorded his seventh strikeout against Chris Owings, then forced Gerardo Parra to ground out softly.
Alas, Eric Chavez ruined everybody's fun. He was so close to striking out, and Hunter Pence nearly caught his soft liner later in the plate appearance:
SO CLOSE! @SFGiants RHP Yusmeiro Petit falls one strike away from perfect game after Eric Chavez lines 2-out single in 9th.— MLB (@MLB) September 7, 2013
Yumeiro Petit was about a foot away from pitching the most random perfect game in MLB history.— Rich MacLeod (@richmacleod) September 7, 2013
I've watched the Petit 2-2 pitch to Chavez 5 times and I expect him to swing every time...Hell of a take— Tom Tolbert (@byronjr23) September 7, 2013
Enjoy your worthless hit in an otherwise overrated career, Eric Chavez. LIKE YOU NEED ANOTHER STINKING SINGLE!— Angry Bills Fan (@chrisskreager) September 7, 2013
That single by Chavez explains the Giants season in a nutshell LOL!!— Greg Silvia (@gsilvia) September 7, 2013
Nonetheless, Petit regained his composure to finish off the D-Backs for his first MLB shutout.
Braces yourselves—here come the obscure stats:
Yusmeiro Petit is the 12th player to lose a perfect game with 2 outs in the 9th inning (2nd this season - Darvish)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 7, 2013
Petit isn't the 1st Giant to lose a perfecto on 27th batter. Hooks Wiltse did it in 1908--he hit the opposing pitcher w/2 out in the 9th— Trent McCotter (@trentmccotter) September 7, 2013
Since start of last season, Giants have thrown 5 no- or one-hitters. Rest of NL: 8.— Doug Kern (@dakern74) September 7, 2013
Anybody who was aware of this game's starting pitching matchup would've given Patrick Corbin the upper hand. In a frustrating year that has seen most of the Arizona Diamondbacks rotation underachieve, he's been a quintessential workhorse.
The All-Star southpaw finished his third complete game of the season—8.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 5 K—and received a few virtual pats on the back:
He did it! Patrick Corbin threw a complete game!— Justin Emerson (@J15Emerson) September 7, 2013
@PatrickCorbin11 pitched a great game. Petit just out pitched a little.— Hannah † (@pickypants14) September 7, 2013
Corbin still ranks among the National League's top 10 in terms of earned run average and innings pitched.
Finally, an "inspiring" takeaway from Petit's unlikely masterpiece:
Yusmeiro Petit turns 29 this year and had a 4.52 ERA in Triple-A this season. Don't give up. You could maybe throw a perfect game one day.— DJ Gallo (@DJGalloESPN) September 7, 2013