The LA Angels are in one of the tightest Wild Card races in recent memory. With eight teams with a legitimate shot at one of the Wild Card spots, the Halos need every player to step up. Yusmeiro Petit has been stepping up all year, and will be key for the Halos playoff race and the playoffs, should they make it.
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The LA Angels are currently sitting a half game back of the Minnesota Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot. The team has finally been playing consistently well, despite being 6-4 over their last ten games. Their bullpen is a big reason for this success. They have finally seemed to solve their problems, and it has been thanks to Yusmeiro Petit.
It is not often a pitcher with a 4.32 career ERA has a career year at 32 years old. However, Petit is doing just that. He owns an era of 2.47 on the season, and is striking out hitters at a staggering rate. With 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, Petit has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this year.
His ERA is great, but Petit’s versatility is what makes him so important to this Angels team. Petit has been the primary long reliever for the Halos this season. However, with Jesse Chavez joining the bullpen, they now have another option. This has allowed them to use Petit whenever they choose. He has even been used as the closer in some situations, and has done extremely well.
Petit has come into many rough situations this season. Inherited runs allowed don’t show up on a pitcher’s stat line, but are essential to team success. Petit has inherited 16 runners this season, and has not allowed a single one to cross the plate. It is performances like his that have allowed the Angels to make so many comeback wins this season.
Every team that wants to seriously contend must have someone like Petit. Someone who can go multiple innings, pitch in high leverage situations, and pitch in most games. It was not very long ago when Petit won a World Series for the San Fransisco Giants as a vital piece. Petit pitched 12.2 innings for the Giants, allowing only two runs. He gave a performance for the ages when he pitched six innings in the NLDS. He came in to start the 12th innings of a 1-1 ballgame, and pitched through the 17th, when the Giants won the game, giving Petit the win.
The Angels this year are special. They are by no means the most talented team in the MLB, but they keep winning somehow. The importance of having someone like Petit who can pitch whenever needed cannot be overstated.