Baseball loves a good old-fashioned turnaround, whether it's the Tampa Bay Rays going from worst to first last season, or the Detroit Tigers' surprising come-from-behind win over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. Last night, Yusmeiro Petit became the sport's latest comeback kid as he came damn close to pulling off a no-hitter in the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-0 blanking of the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Up until his last two outings, the Venezuelan-born hurler hasn't exactly had a banner year, having spent most of this season stinking up the mound with inconsistent pitching and blown leads aplenty (including his previous start against the Bucs less than two weeks ago when he gave up multiple runs).
But such debacles were a distant memory on Tuesday night as Petit went from zero to hero after going 7.2 innings without a single hit (a career first), walking only one and whiffing four. He busted out with a variety of tricks from his arsenal to do so, notching a total of 74 strikes out of the 108 pitches thrown from a combination of change-ups, sliders, and fastballs. Including his equally impressive performance against Philadelphia last week, the right-hander has gone 14 straight shutout innings. Petit's perfection was spoiled in the eighth frame by fellow Venezuelan ballplayer Ronny Cedeño, who plonked a line drive single deep into left field.
Petit's pitching wasn't the only highlight, as Ryan Roberts came up big with a total four hits during the game, including homers in the third and fourth innings to the deepest part of PNC Park. Chris Young also rocked Pirates starter Zach Duke with a two-run moonshot of his own during the fourth.
So far, the Snakes (48-59) have mounted three straight wins and are 4-1 overall during this current roadtrip, which ordinarily would be cause for excitement were it not tempered by the fact that they're squaring off against the National League's worst. Still, D-Backs fans will likely take anything they can get at this point in the season, so here's hoping that tonight's contest against the Bucs will be yet another blowout. Doug Davis (5-10, 3.73 ERA) will handle the ball versus Pittsburgh's Ross Ohlendorf (9-8, 4.43). First pitch is at 4:05 p.m. Arizona time. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For more info, visit www.dbacks.com.