With very rare exceptions, no one thinks of relief pitchers and wins. They may scavenge a few victories over the course of the season, but they are not going to contend for the league lead in wins. Apparently, someone forgot to mention this to Oakland A’s reliever Yusmeiro Petit.
Entering Wednesday’s slate of action, there were eight pitchers in the American League with five wins on the year. Seven of those are starters. The eighth happens to be Petit, who has been a key part of the A’s success in his middle relief role.
Yusmeiro Petit racking up wins for Oakland A’s
The A’s were counting on Petit to continue to be a force in their bullpen for the 2021 season. Petit’s seemingly rubber right arm had been invaluable over the previous three seasons, taking the ball at any point in time and providing key outs. He may not throw hard, but he has been effective because of a key factor – knowing how to pitch instead of just being a thrower.
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He has continued to be the pitcher the A’s needed. Petit is at his accustomed spot atop the AL leaderboard in appearances, having pitched in 22 games. He has produced a 1.82 ERA and a 0.932 WHiP in his 24.2 innings, striking out 17 batters with just five walks as he continues to be the perfect bridge to the latter innings.
But that role has also been rewarding. The A’s penchant for comeback victories has made an impact upon his stat line as he has frequently been the pitcher of record. This has led to his five victories thus far, tied for the second most in his career and trailing only the seven wins he recorded in 2018, his first year with the A’s.
It is not likely that Petit will remain on that leaderboard for long. Wins are a strange statistic, and not one that anyone can count on. However, as he continues to serve in an important role for the A’s, either keeping the game close or protecting the lead, he may add more wins to his total. A personal record seems possible.
Oakland A’s reliever Yusmeiro Petit is on several American League leaderboards. The one surprise is his ranking amongst the league leader in wins.