A perfect game means more than just no hits. It also means no batter reached base for any reason, including errors, walks, hit batsmen, etc. etc. The last pitcher to achieve that before Dallas Braden was Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox in 2009 (ironically, also against Tampa Bay). Prior to that, one had to go back to Randy Johnson's amazing perfect game at the age of 40 in 2004.
Dallas Braden, a LHP, 26, threw 109 pitches and struck out six. Braden pitched the A's first perfect game since Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter, who threw on on May 8, 1968, against the Minnesota Twins. That day, only 6,298 were there to witness it. Sunday's crowd at the Oakland Coliseum was still sparse, but nearly double: 12,228.
Dallas Braden raised his record to 4-2. The A's defense didn't really sweat during the gem. The closest the Rays came to a hit was Jason Bartlett's liner to third leading off the game. Leading off the fifth, Evan Longoria drew boos when he tried to bunt for a hit.
Gabe Kapler grounded out to shortstop for the final out, and teammates mobbed Dallas Braden, including catcher Landon Powell, who caught the game with regular catcher Kurt Suzuki injured.
Prior to this perfect game, outside of the SF Bay Area, Dallas Braden may have been best known for his recent outburst when Yankees star Alex Rodriguez broke one of the unwritten laws of baseball. Rodriguez walking across the mound back on April 22, when Braden beat Yankees ace CC Sabathia. He screamed at A-Rod after the incident.
While the incident was still making news up until Dallas Braden's perfect game, A-Rod was conciliatory on Sunday. Prior to the Yankees playing the Red Sox, he said, "I've learned in my career that it's always better to be remembered for some of the good things you do on the field, and good for him. He threw a perfect game. And, even better, he beat the Rays."
The full list of perfect games in the "modern era" follows:
Cy Young (37), 05-05-1904, Boston 3 vs Philadelphia 0
Addie Joss (28), 10-02-1908, Cleveland 1 vs Chicago 0
Charlie Robertson (26), 04-30-1922, Chicago 2 at Detroit 0
Don Larsen (27), 10-08-1956 New York 2 vs Brooklyn 0 (World Series)
Catfish Hunter (22), 05-08-1968, Oakland 4 vs Minnesota 0
Len Barker (25), 05-15-1981, Cleveland 3 vs Toronto 0
Mike Witt (24), 09-30-1984 , California 1 at Texas 0
Kenny Rogers (29), 07-28-1994, Texas 4 vs California 0
David Wells (34), 05-17-1998, New York 4 vs Minnesota 0
David Cone (36), 07-18-1999, New York 6 vs Montreal 0
Mark Buehrle (30), 07-23-2009, Chicago 5 vs Tampa Bay 0
Dallas Braden (26), 05-09-2010, Oakland 4 vs Tampa Bay 0
Written by Michael Santo