Baseball nobody Yusmeiro Petit threw the game of his life tonight and became only the twelfth pitcher in major-league history to lose a perfect game on the 27th batter. The well-traveled Venezuelan was dropped from the Giants 40-man roster twice this season before crafting his one-hitter. Among his many stops on the journeyman trail was Oaxaca, Mexico. The smiling, beardless picture of me you see when you click M.C. is from Estadio Eduardo Vasconcelos in the city and state of Oaxaca, home of the Guerreros. I still have the O.G. jersey I'm sporting in the pic. The fateful hit came off the bat of Eric Chavez on a 3-2 pitch--I wonder how many of the eleven previous guys got two strikes on the batter before losing him. Chavez has been in the bigs for 16 seasons and has always been a tough out. The Diamondbacks are his third team. He spent his first 13 years with Oakland, their longest-tenured player next to Rickey Henderson (14 years). He almost had to hang up his cleats due to back injuries but managed to get healthy and get a second chance with the Yankees. He spent only two seasons in the minors before his call-up at age 20. Petit was a bit of a phenom himself, reaching The Show at age 21, but lost his job in the majors by age 24. He had to get cut by two clubs in two seasons before the Giants resurrected him last year.
Hunter Pence looked like he might have had a chance for a spectacular play on that stroke off the bat of Chavez, but it fell just short of his reach, and that's saying something. Hunter "Plastic Man" Pence gets to most balls, so you know it was a clean hit. It was, alas, a great night of baseball. The Giants won the game, in a large part, because Pence (who scored all three runs) and catcher Hector Sanchez got three hits each. And Juan Cruz made a great catch in left after being inserted for defense. Yusmeiro Petit came oh-so-close to baseball immortality, and it is a shame he lost it on the last batter. A damn shame. But it was one hell of an effort.
p.s. Matt Cain--he of perfect game fame--is listed as tomorrow's starter.