May 10, 2010

Dallas Braden’s perfect game

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

In case you were under a big rock on Sunday and didn’t happen to check out any sports site, event on television or maybe even the news, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics pitched a perfect game.

Yes, it was 27 up, 27 down for the crafty lefty, who was coming off of two poor outings. In his past two starts, Braden had allowed 11 base runners in each game. But not on Sunday, that was the furthest thing from the result.

The 26-year-old will go down in the record books as the 19th man to pitch a perfect game. Yes, the rarest individual game feat in all of sports was achieved for the second season in a row. Braden’s game also marks the third perfecto in a row that was tossed by a lefty. Of the past eight perfect games, six have been by lefties and this also makes five of the past six.

What is it about the Tampa Bay Rays and perfect games? For the second season in a row, they’ve allowed perfect games against them. And this is supposed to be one of the best lineups in the majors.

And to make matters worse for the Rays, even though they’ve been first-hand witnesses to those two perfect games within the past 10 months, Tampa Bay is now the only team in the majors that has never had one of their own. You have to figure with the fine stable of pitchers they currently have – in addition to their never-ending supply of prospects – that run will end sooner rather than later.

And, as shocking as it was to see a perfect game by itself, seeing Braden do it was even more shocking, even for people who own him in fantasy baseball. First, he’s only owned by 55% of players on Yahoo, second, of those teams, he was only started on 39% of them.

To make matters worse, yours truly was one of the lucky chumps who has Braden, but unlucky enough to have had him firmly planted on the bench. That’s third-place management for you alright.

Anyways, it’s pretty safe to say this will be the defining moment of Braden’s career. Hopefully he can build off this performance, rather his silly feud with A-Rod, but only the future holds the answer to that.

Leave a Reply