Mother’s Day to Remember For Braden
The 12,228 fans who showed up at Oakland Coliseum yesterday afternoon were present to see baseball history as they witness Dallas Braden pitching a perfect game while enroute to a 4-0 Athletics victory over the Rays.
Braden had started the season 3-0 before losing to the Rays on April 28 with the Rays winning 10-3. Braden pitched into the fifth inning in that contest but couldn’t retire a batter in that frame allowing six runs, eight hits and three walks while making 88 pitches in that outing.
It was a very different Braden that took the mound on Mother’s Day and it was a especially significant day for him remembering that he lost his mother while a senior in high school.
It took the 26 year old Braden only 109 pitches to record his perfect game while striking out six batters. He has improved all his main percentage numbers each year since making his major league debut in 2007.
His ERA was 6.72 in 2007 and is 3.33 after yesterday’s game. Opposing hitters hit .303 against him in 2007 and that number is now .220 after yesterday’s game. He has improved his WHIP from 1.62 to 0.96.
Braden could have easily had six wins since he didn’t receive a decision in his first start of the season against the Mariners despite allowing only one run while striking out 10 in seven innings.
He had a quality start against the Rangers on May 3 allowing three runs in seven innings but the Athletics didn’t score their two runs till the bottom of the ninth inning.
Braden’s perfect game came only 270 days after the perfect game pitched against the same Rays by Mark Buehrle when he notched his 5-0 perfect game on July 23, 2009. It was the shortest time between perfect games in baseball history.
Braden joins Buehrle and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to record perfect games since the start of 2000.
Around the Diamond
Mike Leake of the Reds is 3-0 after the Reds defeated the Cubs 5-3 on Sunday. Leake has shown so far that the Reds front office made the right decision to let Leake go directly to the majors….Tyler Colvin of the Cubs has 68 less at bats than teammate Derrek Lee but has four home runs like Lee.
Kenshin Kawakami continued to struggle as his record fell to 0-6 after the Braves 5-3 loss to the Phillies. Kawakami has compiled a 7-18 record since signing a three year contract for $23 million….Alex Rodriguez hit his third home run of the season for the Yankees in 108 at bats. ESPN.com projects Rodriguez to hit 17 home runs in 2010.
Mark Texeira is hitting .340 in day games and hitting only .082 in night games and hasn’t homered in 61 at bats in night games….Matt Capps recorded his 13th save for the Nationals yesterday and he and Francisco Cordero with 10 saves lead all closers in saves.
Tyler Clippard is 6-0 as a reliever another reason the Nationals have a winning record in the early going of the 2010 season…Ubaldo Jiminez failed in his bid to record his seventh win of the season as Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers received the victory in the 2-0 win by Dodgers over the Rockies. Jiminez pitched will though allowing one run and two hits in seven innings.
Albert Pujols is hitting .359 against righthanders and only .172 against lefthanders which is unusual for a righthanded batter. He is hitting .439 in day games and .250 in night contests.