I just heard about the perfect game thrown today by A’s hurler Dallas Braden against the Rays. Wow, I thought. This the first perfect game in the majors since the White Sox Mark Buerhle’s historic outing way back in . . .well, July 2009. Against . . .oh yeah, the Rays. Braden was also the first to throw a no-hitter since the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez tossed one way,way back on. . .April 17.
The only thing that really surprised about today’s gem was that it was thrown by a guy who I barely heard of until two weeks ago when he got into a major stink with Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod thought it was okay to stomp on Braden’s mound on his way back to first after a ball hit by Robinson Cano went foul. Braden publicly and rightfully took A-Rod to task, to which the Yankees slugger dismissed Braden with this passive aggressive missive: “That was a little surprising. I’ve never quite heard that – especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career.” Yes, one of which is now a perfect game. Take that, Alex!
Actually, Braden’s perfecto was by far the rarest of feats performed in the majors this weekend. On Friday night, Mets’ catcher Rod Barajas hit a walk-off homer in the ninth inning to defeat the Giants, 6-4. The next day, the Mets #2 backstop, Henry Blanco, mirrored Barajas with a game-winning dinger in the tenth. I was stunned to learn while watching the broadcast on SNY this afternoon that the Mets are the first team in history to win back-to-back games on walk-off homers by a catcher — let alone two different catchers. That may never happen again. This is another of those outrageously obscure facts that few people other than myself care about and also make me shake my head in wonder at how anyone (usually the folks at the Elias Sports Bureau) could uncover these things — in less than 24 hours, nonetheless! When Blanco homered yesterday, I just figured, wow, the Mets got game-winners from both of their catchers this weekend. That’s great. Probably hasn’t happened in a while.
It never happened before. By the Mets or any team. Now THAT is really neat.
Not like some garden variety perfect game against Tampa Bay.