It is truly a special night when you can witness a perfect game in baseball. For San Francisco Giants starter Yusmeiro Petit, he was one strike away from the first perfect game of his young career when he gave up a hit in the top of the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was the only mark of the night for him, as the Giants went on to defeat Arizona, 3-0.
Petit had been unstoppable on Friday night, until he ran into Eric Chavez with two outs in the ninth. After falling behind 2-0, Petit worked back to a full count before Chavez dropped a line drive single into right field. Hunter Pence fielded the ball and the disappointment was obvious in his return throw to the infield. Television cameras panned to the Giants dugout and everyone thought for a moment they were a part of history. But when the ball bounced off the grass, everybody just fell back in shock. He rebounded on the next batter and got AJ Pollock to ground out to third to end the game, picking up a complete game victory, albeit bittersweet.
With the near-no hitter, it turned into the Hunter Pence show at AT&T Park. Pence scored the game's first run in the bottom of the second, as he crossed the plate on a throwing error by shortstop Chase Owings. Brett Pill reached first safely on the bad throw, as runners on first and second also advanced. He struck again in the fourth, when he opened the inning with a double. He later scored on a Hector Sanchez single.
After walking in the bottom of the sixth, Pence delivered the game's final blow in the eighth with his 19th home run of the year. The solo shot put the Giants up 3-0, and set the stage for what would be an extremely dramatic ninth inning.
The impressive outing by Petit was a credit to him being called up for the injured Matt Cain. In his last start, Petit struck out 10 Diamondbacks in six innings.
In their relatively short history, the Diamondbacks have never fallen to a perfect game. However they have been no-hit on two previous occasionsl. The last time it happened was on September 6, 2006, when Anibal Sanchez kept them off the hit column.
This weekend series continues on Saturday, with first pitch set for 9:05 P.M. Eastern. Arizona will try to rebound with Brandon McCarthy (3-9, 4.94 ERA), as they take on the returning Matt Cain (8-8, 4.43). In his career, Cain is 14-6 with a 3.39 ERA against the Diamondbacks.