Petit picked up his third win of the season Friday, tossing two scoreless innings and giving up just one hit while striking out one in a 3-2, 14-inning victory over the Reds. The veteran swingman is having another excellent season in his first year with the Nats, so far managing a career-best 2.70 ERA through 43.1 innings with a 1.08 WHIP and 32:9 K:BB. Petit isn't likely to see many starts in the second half behind a deep Washington rotation, but his role in long relief for one of the best teams in MLB still gives him some fantasy value in deep formats.
Petit (2-1) allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings in a spot start loss Monday against the Dodgers. Stephen Strasburg was scratched with a back injury to create the need for Petit to step in and make the spot start. Petit induced seven swinging strikes and nine groundouts, but he was touched up for a pair of solo home runs. That has been his big problem as a starter -- his 2.9 K/BB in 57 starts is excellent, but he had allowed 53 home runs in 303 innings as a starter (1.6 HR/9) entering Monday's outing, and it doesn't look like he has solved that problem at all.
Petit will start Monday against the Dodgers after Stephen Strasburgh was scratched with an upper back strain, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Petit has been a multiple inning reliever for Washington thus far, with a 2.81 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 32 innings covering 17 appearances. He has shown in the past that he can be an admirable replacement in the starting rotation, most notably with the Giants, but his career numbers in the starting rotation are mediocre -- 4.96 ERA, 255 strikeouts against 87 walks in 303 career innings compared to a 3.75 ERA with 186 strikeouts against 47 walks in 204 innings as a reliever.
Petit worked around a hit in a scoreless inning to earn his first save of the season Friday versus the Padres. The Nationals named Shawn Kelley their interim closer following Thursday's game, but he had pitched three times in four days heading into Friday's contest, which likely opened the door for Petit to step in. With Kelley expected to see the majority of the save opportunities, Petit should largely be limited to a setup role moving forward.
Petit was roughed up in 1.1 innings of relief Saturday, allowing two runs on three hits against St. Louis. Petit had a rough series against the Cardinals, giving up a total of three runs in 2.1 innings and raising his ERA from 1.52 to 2.42. The right-hander has normally been sturdy out of the bullpen this season, mainly used in long-inning appearances. Petit should continue to get such opportunities, despite the recent struggles.