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September 9, 2013

What You Need to Know

A Weekend of Almosts

by Daniel Rathman


The Weekend Takeaway
Yu Darvish and Yusmeiro Petit don’t have a whole lot in common, apart from the first two letters of their first names. One throws a blazing fastball, the other barely touches 90 mph with his heater. One thrives on pure stuff, the other requires deception and command to miss barrels. One has the talent to win multiple Cy Young Awards, the other faces an uphill battle every March just to earn a big-league roster spot.

But the two right-handers now make up one-sixth of a club more exclusive than one they nearly joined instead. Darvish retired 26 consecutive Astros to begin his 2013 campaign, only to have the 27th, Marwin Gonzalez, bounce the first pitch of his at-bat through Darvish’s legs and into center field. Gonzalez rejected Darvish’s bid to earn the 22nd perfect game of the Modern Era. The next pitcher to come that close was Petit—on Friday night, in the second of four games between the Giants and Diamondbacks at AT&T Park.

Against all odds, Petit came even closer than Darvish did. The 28-year-old, who began his professional career with the Mets and subsequently made major-league stops with the Marlins and Diamondbacks before coming to the Giants in 2012, secured a starting job only because Matt Cain was on the disabled list and Barry Zito pitched his way out of the rotation. As Bay Area News Group beat writer Alex Pavlovic pointed out, Petit had twice been removed from the Giants’ 40-man roster. He was designated for assignment when the Giants acquired Guillermo Moscoso from the Cubs in late July.

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<< Previous Article
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