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article imageGiants relief pitcher 7 outs away from MLB record

By Michael Thomas     Aug 27, 2014 in Sports
A perfect game is a rarity in baseball — only 23 have happened since MLB's inception — but in a way, San Francisco Giant Yusmeiro Petit has thrown one and more.
As it stands, Petit has retired 38 straight batters without any walks over seven innings as a relief pitcher.
If this seems impressive, it is — the current record for most consecutive batters by a reliever belongs to the Chicago White Sox's Bobby Jenks, who in 2007 retired 41 consecutive batters.
The overall record for pitching is held by Mark Buerhle, who in his time as a member of the White Sox pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009 and then followed that up with 5 1/3 innings of pitching perfection.
The hot streak comes as a surprise considering Petit's career stats: a win-loss record of 17-24 and an ERA of 5.01
His streak began in one of his worst appearances this year, on July 22 against the Philadelphia Phillies. He had pitched relief for two months but that day took the mound as a starting pitcher, subbing for Matt Cain. He lasted only five innings and gave up five earned runs, but started his perfect streak by getting Grady Sizemore to ground out.
He would go on to retire players from the LA Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City as a relief pitcher.
Commentators began to take notice on Sunday when he extended his streak against the Washington Nationals — currently at the top of their division — in 4 1/3 innings of relief.
"Petit, what a job he did,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy after that game. “He locates, he commands the ball and he has four pitches to work with."
Petit's big test will be tomorrow, when he faces the Colorado Rockies as a starting pitcher.
If he can manage seven outs in a row with no walks, he'll have tied Buerhle's record; one more and he'll be making baseball history.
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