With Matt Cain being scratched last minute due to a cut on his throwing hand, Yusmeiro Petit was called upon to man the hill for the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night. But what he gave them was more than they could have ever asked for. Petit was dominant, leading the Giants to a 6-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Now with a 2-1 record and a 2.41 ERA on the season, Petit went six innings, allowing only three hits, no walks and striking out six. He threw just 72 pitches on the night, 50 of them being strikes. He managed to get ahead in the count and stay ahead, simply stifling the San Diego lineup.
Petit’s strong outing came at just the right time for the Giants. With Cain going winless over the first month of the season, they needed a win out of his spot. And with questions surrounding the Giants starting rotation, there appears to be at lest one solution waiting in the wings – Petit. But whether or not the Giants will need to make any brash moves remains to be seen, and even if they do, would Bochy and Sabean really risk losing jersey sales by demoting Tim Lincecum to the bullpen? Probably not. They’d rather just ride out mediocrity until it’s too late.
However, Petit will be a valuable asset if one of the starters were to go down with a short or long term injury. From spot starts, to rainouts, to injuries, it is always good to have an extra dependable arm in the bullpen, especially one that can go the distance. Petit is a Giant luxury to have and they shouldn’t be afraid to use him. He deserves to be known for something other than being a few feet away from a perfect game.
As for their starters as a whole, their 4.12 ERA ranks just 19th in the Majors while their 150.2 innings pitched ranks just 17th, their .277 batting average against 25th, and last, but not least, their 22 home runs allowed are the third most given up by any starting staff in all of baseball. It’s safe to say that their once dominant and opposing starting five is only a shell of their former selves.
The good news is that their bullpen ranks among the league’s best. They currently have the second best ERA in the Majors at just 2.13. Their .209 batting average against ranks third as well as their 22 walks allowed. The bullpen of the Giants has been their savior over the opening month of the season, especially when you consider how many short outings the starters have had. In fact, the Giants bullpen has thrown 84.1 innings – the ninth most in all of baseball.
The month of May will be a nice, fresh start for the Giants starters. With a half game lead over the Rockies? for the NL West lead, they can’t feel too bad about themselves. After all, it’s a long season.
Commentary by Rich Peters
Guardian Liberty Voice Writer for the San Francisco Giants