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Petit's hook key to record success

8/29/2014

The San Francisco Giants might have found the X factor when it comes to their postseason hopes in starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit.

Yusmeiro Petit

#52 RP
San Francisco Giants

2014 STATS

  • GM34
  • W4

  • L3

  • BB17

  • K96

  • ERA3.44

Petit not only set a major league record for consecutive batters retired and pitched the Giants to a win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.

Petit also won in his first start since July 22 with a dominant performance. In his past seven appearances, dating back to July 26, he’s pitched 18 1/3 innings and allowed one run and four hits.

Record setter

Petit set the single-season mark by retiring 46 consecutive hitters, breaking Mark Buehrle's mark of 45, set in 2009.

Petit's streak ended with the next batter when pitcher Jordan Lyles doubled.

Most Consecutive Batters Retired
Single-Season, All-Time

Petit had earlier broken the National League record, which was also held by a Giants pitcher of modest renown, Jim Barr, who retired 41 straight during the 1972 season.

Petit’s streak might have been a bit under the radar considering the results of the games in which he pitched. His past six appearances prior to Thursday were all Giants losses.

Petit is familiar with long runs of perfection. On Sept. 6, 2013, he pitched a one-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks, with a perfect-game bid that stretched into the ninth inning.

How he won

Petit finished with a season-high 15 swings-and-misses in his six innings of one-run, nine-strikeout work.

He was in total command despite a fastball that averaged only 89 mph. Petit’s key pitch was his 76 to 79 mph curveball, which he threw 19 times and netted 10 outs, including six strikeouts.

Opponents are 2-for-35 in at-bats ending with a Petit curveball dating back to July 2. They’ve missed on 34 of 66 swings against it.

In good company

Petit ranks sixth in the majors in strikeouts per nine innings among the 150 pitchers with at least 80 innings pitched this season. The five pitchers ahead of him are Yu Darvish, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

His 29 percent miss rate ranks fifth in the majors. Kershaw and Felix Hernandez rank sixth and seventh.

Quirky coincidence

Rockies catcher Jackson Williams, who just made his major league debut Wednesday, was the record-tying 45th "victim" of Petit's streak.

Williams came to Colorado as a minor league free agent from the Giants last offseason. During the 2012 and 2013 seasons, he caught Petit's starts 24 times when both were in Triple-A Fresno.

Williams also got his first major league hit off Petit in the fifth inning.