Oakland Athletics

A Perfect Day For Dallas Braden

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 09:  Dallas Braden #51 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after pitching a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays with his grandmother Peggy Lindsey during an MLB game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 9, 2010 in Oakland, California. Braden is seen kissing his mother's wedding ring who passed away. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Justin KaneContributor IMay 11, 2010

The greatest single game accomplishment a pitcher can acheive in his MLB career is the perfect game, Dallas Braden did just that. How rare is this feat? More people have orbited the moon then the amount of times a perfect game has been thrown.

After the final pitch, which was a ground ball to Cliff Pennington, Braden was swarmed with teammates hugging and congratulating him on such a great accomplishment.  The tears streaming down Bradens’ face wasn’t just because he did something only 18 players before him did, he threw the best game of his career on mothers day. After losing his mother in his senior year of high school in Southern California his grandmother took care of him from that day on who happened to be in the stands. 

Before today Braden was 4-2 with a 4.14 ERA, after he sat down 27 Tampa Bay batters he improved to 5-2 and an ERA of 3.33.  Braden didn’t accomplish this perfect game by throwing 95 mph fastballs all game, instead he mixed up his pitches better than anyone else in the majors.  He threw 109 pitches and hit over 90 mph, twice.  His off speed was incredible as he threw three pitches under 70 mph and fooling all 27 of Tampa’s batters.  Braden had 6 K’s in his performance, Rays pitchers had 9.  

Very few Rays even hit it out of the infield and when they did, they were straight shots to Oakland outfielders. The best play of the day was a foul ball that Oakland’s third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff chased into foul territory and caught the ball before stepping into the Oakland dugout. Another note, catcher Landon Powell came into this game batting 1-17 on the year, went 2-4 with a double. 

This isn’t the same Rays team of last year, before this series with Oakland, Tampa Bay was 21-7 with a 12-1 road record, both major leagues bests, they were on fire.  Not today though.  This is, although, the same Tampa Bay team that had a perfect game thrown against them last year, when Mark Buehrle tossed one on July 23 in Chicago.  This is the third perfect game thrown against the Rays as Dereck Lowe tossed one in 2002.  

Congrats to Dallas Braden, well deserved accomplishment very few people have done.   ­­

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