Sunday, May 09, 2010

Dear A-Rod, All is forgiven

If this is what happens to guys after Alex Rodriguez cuts across the pitching mound, nobody is going to whine about the "unwritten rules of baseball" and "respect for the game" any more.

Dallas Braden definitely owns the mound now.

Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history on Sunday, shutting down the majors' hottest team and leading the Oakland Athletics to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
"Pretty cool," Braden said. "I don't know what to think about it just yet. There's definitely a select group. I'd like to have a career more than today."
Of the 17 who have thrown perfect games since 1900, Braden is one of the least accomplished, though he's got a shot at a decent career.  Unless things go very wrong for him, however, he will stay ahead of Charlie Robertson, who shut down Ty Cobb's Tigers in April of 1922, in just his fifth major-league pitching appearance.  The Tigers thought that he was doctoring the ball; he finished his career with some awful overall numbers, so they may have had a point, but '22 was clearly the best year he had as a pitcher.

Another fun fact - Braden's Mother's Day perfecto bookends with Jim Bunning of the Phillies, who retired all 27 New York Mets on Father's Day, 1964.  Less-than-fun fact - in the second game Rick Wise only gave up three hits himself, and both Met runs were unearned thanks to four Phillie errors.

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