SURPRISE, Ariz. — Yusmeiro Petit’s family kept putting the DVD on this winter, and the right-hander was all too happy to sit back and watch his incredible performance in Game 2 of the NLDS. He smiled Friday when admitting he watched that game — in which he threw six one-hit innings out of the bullpen — three times this offseason.
“I don’t understand how I pitched like that,” Petit said. “I couldn’t feel my fingers.”
That 18-inning game in Washington D.C. came on the coldest night of the postseason, but Petit hung tough one inning after the next and gave Brandon Belt a chance to win it with a homer in the 18th.
You couldn’t blame Petit if he harbored some bitterness over coming into camp as a long reliever. With that postseason performance and a record run of 46 straight outs last summer, Petit certainly earned a look as a starter, but he’ll once again be a jack of all trades for manager Bruce Bochy.
“I’m ready for any job they give me,” Petit said. “Whenever they need me, I’m going to try to do my job.”
He looked ready for Opening Day while getting a start Friday, throwing two perfect innings on just 26 pitches. Petit might have the best command in the clubhouse, and he said it’s something he works on early in spring. “The velocity will come,” he said, pointing out that he didn’t play winter ball for a second straight offseason and should be fresh.
“He came in ready and he came in in great shape,” Bochy said. “It shows you that if you can command the ball and you have four pitches, there’s a good chance you’re going to do well, and he’s got that. This guy is fun to watch. He’s got the art of pitching down. He doesn’t try to power his way through — he pitches.”
Other news and notes from a day in Surprise (the surprise is that anyone lives here):
ROSTER MOVES: Lefty Nik Turley and right-handers Clayton Blackburn and Ray Black were reassigned to minor league camp (Ty Blach remains safe). Black, the guy with a 103 mph fastball, is rehabbing a lat strain. Blackburn felt something in his shoulder while throwing a live BP session but diagnostics came back clean; he’s officially rehabbing shoulder soreness/fatigue. Bochy said only that Turley wasn’t ready to pitch yet.
HEALTH WATCH: Brandon Crawford (sore shoulder) had a full workout Friday and should be playing the field in a game next Monday or Tuesday. Crawford was the DH and had a two-run triple in his first at-bat Friday, a reminder that he actually finished tied for second in the NL last year with 10 three-baggers.
ICYMI: We talked to Pence this morning about his fractured arm, the rehab plan and his response to Corey Black, the kid who hit him.
NOTEWORTHY: Left-handed prospect Adalberto Mejia had another nice outing, striking out two in two perfect innings. Mejia is a big guy but he’s under control on the mound, sitting at a real easy 91-93 mph … Joan Gregorio, the 6-foot-7 right-hander, blew a fastball past top Rangers prospect Joey Gallo to end the eighth … Matt Duffy hit a solo homer early in the game … Travis Ishikawa was 3 for 4 with two RBI ... Kyle Crick followed Mejia and looked much better than he has in the past. Crick has always seemed over-amped during big league camp appearances, but he commanded his fastball Friday in 2 2/3 innings, giving up one hit and walking two. Crick has had trouble getting through minor league outings because he burns through so many pitches early in games, but he was at just 24 pitches through two shutout innings.
“It was a good day for Crick, a real good day,” Bochy said. “That should help his confidence.”
I also found this noteworthy: Bochy’s official nickname for Justin Maxwell is Maxy. After Hicksy and Colvy last year, this comes as no surprise.