Who would’ve thought that a pitcher with just a “handful of wins” would actually throw a perfect game? Certainly not Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez. But Oakland starter, Dallas Braden shocked the world of baseball earlier today and threw nine perfect innings at home against the hot-hitting Tampa Bay Rays.
Dallas Braden, who has been under the spotlight as of late, entered Sunday’s contest wanting to move past his recent spat with Rodriguez. Braden’s eight innings of perfection demonstrated his new focus and direction. Braden, who was earlier dubbed a “clown” by Yankees starter, CC Sabathia, certainly does not look like a pitcher with just a handful of wins. Instead, Braden, 26, is maturing and becoming one of the biggest surprises this year in the American League. At 17-15, the A’s are in second place and trail the Rangers by just one game.
The A’s, who struggled on the road last week, took two of three from the Rays in Oakland to capture a series win. Ben Sheets and Dallas Braden, who struggled the last time they faced the Rays, seemed at ease this time around. The rest of the A’s staff should be able to feed of this kind of performance. Just by looking at how the A’s team embraced Braden after the final out was made, I can tell that this A’s team is full of confidence right now. The A’s are a young, talented team and they feel like they have a shot at contending this season in the weakened American League West.
Hopefully, the A’s can continue their success as they hit the road against Texas. And hopefully, Alex Rodriguez will realize that Dallas Braden is much more than a pitcher with just a handful of wins.