With two outs in the sixth inning on Friday, San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit was in the middle of putting together a game for the ages.
He had retired 17 consecutive Arizona Diamondbacks hitters by the time opposing pitcher Patrick Corbin stepped to the plate.
Corbin, with a .133 batting average, lofted a fly ball off the end of his bat to shallow left field. Left fielder Juan Perez simply wasn't going to allow a pitcher to break up Petit's flawless effort.
Perez's outstanding catch allowed Petit to continue his masterful effort.
While he wasn't able to complete the perfect game, it always seems like there is at least one defensive play that stands out in stellar outings like this.
Last season, Giants teammate Matt Cain nearly saw his perfect game effort go by the wayside as well. But Gregor Blanco made sure that Cain's performance would indeed be legendary.
Blanco's fully-extended dive preserved what became the 22nd perfect game ever thrown in MLB history.
And back in 2009, Chicago White Sox center fielder Dewayne Wise made a wall-jumping dive and unique juggling act in saving the perfect game effort for teammate Mark Buehrle.
While Perez's effort was indeed outstanding, it was Eric Chavez's sinking liner that did Petit in with two outs on the ninth inning on Friday. But Perez can stand tall knowing he did all he could to put Petit in the history books.
Doug Mead’s work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.
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