On a team of no name ballplayers, one of the most anonymous among those deserves this moment. OK, he deserves a bigger one than this.
Yusmeiro Petit, one of the parade of middle relief pitchers, usually in too late to get the win and gone too early to earn the save, has been a key piece in the Oakland A’s winning and saving games of late.
The portly Venezuelan twice this weekend came in to face the St. Louis Cardinals in exactly the point of the games that we fans can feel the contest slipping away. Both times the A’s had thin one-run leads and both times Petit was perfect. As in no walks, no hits, no runs, no drama. You know how baseball fans moan about base on balls? Petit has given up none in the past 15 games. Want a more modern metric, a little WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched), the finest of the team is Yusmeiro at 0.847.
But better than the tiny numbers is the vibe when Petit takes the hill. A calmness, a presence, a got-this-covered that makes him the most welcome sight coming in from the bullpen. What little press the A’s get never shines on the Round Mound of Shutting Down, but that’s an error–by the way Petit hasn’t made one of those all year either.