While baseball analytics will say a pitcher's 7-0 record (tied for the most wins in the AL) doesn't really matter, any of Yusmeiro Petit’s Athletics teammates would beg to differ. They explained why Friday night following the 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
The 14-year veteran reliever has been the unsung hero and foundation to Oakland's success both on and off the field.
On it, Petit boasts a 3.21 ERA. In 28 innings of relief this season, he has struck out 19 while walking five.
“He’s definitely somebody that doesn’t get enough credit,” A’s third baseman Matt Chapman said. “As long as he’s been here, he’s been amazing for us. We would not have been able to make the playoffs any one of those last three years if it wasn’t for him so to be able to have him on our team, pitching the way he’s pitching, he always seems to come in big situations and get big-time hitters out.”
The guy has ice in his veins. He can come into a game during any situation with the bases loaded, and still manage to find his way out of it.
Pitcher Sean Manaea had the start Friday night, and Petit came in for him in the middle of the sixth inning. Having a guy like that backing him adds lots of confidence.
“It’s unbelievable,” Manaea said. “Every big situation that arises, seems like his name’s getting called. Seems like every time he’s just going out there and getting out of it somehow or just throwing up zeroes.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin joked Petit could be a starter with his record.
“He rewards me every time,” Melvin said. “That’s his type of game, then goes one-plus. We’ve seen him do it so many times. We get spoiled by it. He’s really made for the big moments -- not a surprise again.”