San Francisco Chronicle
Petit gets 1st save since ’17
Yusmeiro Petit has entered from the A’s bullpen into most situations imaginable. Tuesday night held something different for the righthander.
With a threerun lead in the ninth inning and leverage relievers Jake Diekman and Lou Trivino pegged for rest days, manager Bob Melvin summoned Petit for the save opportunity. Petit worked a clean ninth against the top of Toronto’s order for his first save, at least officially, since 2017 with the Angels.
“There isn’t any (situation) I wouldn’t put him in,” Melvin said Wednesday afternoon. “I know he was good and loose because I warmed him in the seventh, the eighth and he came in in the ninth. So he was ready to go.”
Other statistics than saves reflect Petit’s value to the A’s. No pitcher has appeared in more majorleague games than Petit since the start of the 2017 season. His ERA in threeplus seasons with Oakland through Tuesday was 2.58. At age 36, he has compiled another strong start to 2021.
Petit led AL pitchers with 16 outings entering Wednesday, appearing in more than half Oakland’s games. He had an 0.98 ERA and had not allowed a run in his past 12 innings. Petit’s often enters midinning with men on base. In his first two games, Petit allowed four inherited runners to score. He had stranded all of his subsequent four.
Teammates laud Petit’s reliability and calm leadership. Starter Chris Bassitt said this spring his concerns about the A’s freeagent losses were eased when they resigned Petit. Designated hitter Mitch Moreland, new to Oakland this season, deemed Petit “definitely an MVPoftheteamtype guy” Wednesday.
“He comes in in big situations, he’s stranded runners for us, last night coming in and closing,” Moreland said. “The guy’s just ready every day. … He just brings it, man.”
In a highvelocity era, Petit excels with command. His two topused pitches through Tuesday were a fourseam fastball that averages 87 mph and a cutter averaging 83.7 mph. He throws changeups to lefthanded hitters and curveballs to righthanders for a different look. Melvin said Petit still presents “a difficult atbat.”
“He’s confident in what he does, he knows what he needs to do, he studies the opponent, all of the above,” Melvin said. “I’m glad Mitch said that and to realize it that quickly when you’re with a team only for a month means that it’s pretty noticeable what Yusmeiro does around here.”
Briefly: The A’s acquired Skye Bolt in a trade with the Giants for cash considerations Wednesday; the Giants had claimed Bolt off waivers from the A’s last month after he was designated for assignment. … Backup catcher Austin Allen, recalled Tuesday after Aramis Garcia landed on injured list, did not arrive during Tuesday’s game; Melvin said reliever Jordan Weems, a converted catcher, was the emergency backup. Allen was the starter behind the plate for Wednesday night’s game.