We knew Dallas Braden was good. We knew he was tough. We knew he had a bit of fight in him. But just how good he could be was simply astonishing. Who knew he could be perfect?
27 up, and 27 down.
On a perfect Mother's Day, you really couldn't ask for more. Sure Braden got some really good help from Kevin Kouzmanoff, and the rest of the Oakland A's defense, but as Dallas said after the A-Rod debacle "I don't care if I'm Cy Young or if I'm the 25th man on the roster, if I've got that ball in my hand and I'm out there on that mound, that's not your mound. If you want to run across the mound, go run laps in the bullpen. That's my mound."
It certainly was his mound Sunday. As if every pink bat, arm band, and ribbon fired him up; Braden retired batter after batter with spot-on location on each and every throw. Dallas, for the day, was simply un-hittable.
The team refused to let him down too. Kevin Kouzmanoff made several great plays: he snagged a slicer at the third-base line, followed a foul ball into the dugout, and hit a splitting Daric Barton on first after scooping up an exceptionally tough grounder.
Barton would also quickly glove a potential hit in the ninth. Rajai Davis, Ryan Sweeney, and Eric Patterson devoured everything that came their way in the out field. Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales walled off the middle infield. And, of course, catcher Landon Powell called an exceptional game.
A whopping 12,228 fans showed up to witness the historic Mother's Day marvel.
I sense more fan attendance in the A's future, especially when Braden pitches. I sense jersey sales increasing. I sense a contract extension for a future franchise player.
This guy's for real, and these A's are for real.