Petit — chosen by S.F. to replace the struggling Tim Lincecum in the starting rotation — entered the game needing to retire eight more batters in a row to make history. He did, with a strikeout of Charlie Culberson in the third inning, and surpassed Mark Buehrle for the most consecutive batters retired in MLB history.
It was 46 in a row for Petit, a number that dates back to July 22 and includes eight games: two as a starter, the rest in relief. And right after his historic out, wouldn't you know it, Petit gave up consecutive hits to the Rockies. Nothing lasts forever. But the record is his for now.
Buehrle set down 45 batters in a row in 2009. Part of his record, though, was a perfect game. He did it in two starts. Petit has had to be perfect in a number of situations — pitching two innings of relief against the Dodgers, Cubs and Pirates, then four innings of long relief Saturday when the Nationals clobbered Lincecum. Petit's July 22 start against the Phillies was the last time he gave up a hit before Thursday. Marlon Byrd was the batter.
Petit finished his outing Thursday with nine strikeouts and one run allowed in six innings. The Giants won 4-1. Giants fans know Petit well, but the rest of the country might not.
He's been used as a starter and reliever the past two seasons by the Giants, who signed him in 2012 after he'd been out of MLB for two seasons. He played for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2007-2009 and the Marlins in 2006. Petit's other run-in with history was last September when he came within one out of a perfect game.
In an interesting bookkeeping note: Petit brings this record back to San Francisco. Giants pitcher Jim Barr owned the record (41 in a row) from 1972 until 2007, when White Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks tied him. Buehrle, also playing for the White Sox, bested them both in 2009.
So since 1972, this record has belonged only to Giants and White Sox pitchers.
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