It probably won’t get much attention because it’s kind of an odd record, but Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit just set a new MLB all-time mark by retiring 46 consecutive batters.
There was no perfect game involved and in fact the 46 batters stretched over the course of eight appearances. Mark Buehrle held the previous record of 45 back in 2009.
And here’s the funny part: After setting the record Petit allowed a double to the next batter, who was Rockies pitcher Jordan Lyles. So, set down 46 straight hitters and then give up a double to a pitcher. Makes sense.
Petit also came up one out short of a perfect game last September against the Diamondbacks, so he’s had some remarkable stretches for a 29-year-old journeyman with fewer than 400 career innings in the big leagues.
Petit was once a top prospect with the Mets and posted incredible numbers in the minors, but his high-80s fastball always made people skeptical and he struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark early in his career. Since joining the Giants last season Petit has a sub-3.50 ERA in nearly 140 innings, with great secondary numbers.
Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.
Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.
Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.
A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.
The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:
- Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
- Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
- Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
- Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.
As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.
The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.
La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.