Dallas Braden made his first complete game in the Majors a memorable one. On Sunday, Braden became the 19th hurler in MLB history to pitch a perfect game, needing 109 pitches to record 27 outs against the Rays.
05/10/2010 1:51 PM ET
Dallas Braden throws perfect game
A's lefty is 19th pitcher in MLB history to throw perfecto
"I didn't feel like I was throwing any harder because I definitely wasn't," Braden told the Oakland Tribune. "I didn't feel like the changeup was any better because it definitely wasn't. You know, they just hit 'em where they were today."
"Dallas has four above-average pitches, but obviously, his changeup is his out pitch," catcher Landon Powell said. "He does a real good job of locating his fastball in and out, and today I think the biggest thing is that he was locating his fastball in, which really kept the hitters from leaning out over the plate. It made his changeup even better."
Trio of Twins gets jazzed up for a night: A trio of Twins players made use of a Friday rainout against the Orioles to show support for batboy Adam Hanson, a trumpet player in the Hamline University jazz ensemble.
Kevin Slowey, J.J. Hardy and Drew Butera found seats in the back of the room of a performance that night, surprising the talented senior when he looked up mid-song and saw them.
"They gave me a little wave," Hanson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "It was pretty exciting."
"Adam does so much for us around here that we don't even ask him to do, and it was something he was excited about, and we wanted to be there for him," Slowey said. "He was all decked out in a nice suit. And he's really good with the trumpet."
Leake sizes up just fine on the mound: Mike Leake's transition from college to the Major Leagues has been smooth, to say the least. Leake led Arizona State to three straight Pac-10 titles en route to a 40-6 career record. He went 16-1 with a 1.71 ERA as a junior.
In six starts for the Reds, the club's No. 1 draft pick in 2009 is 3-0 with a 3.10 ERA.
"His poise is way beyond his years," Chris Buckley, Reds senior director for amateur scouting, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He commands everything so well. You don't set out wanting to draft in the first round a 5-11, right-handed pitcher. Mike is just a guy who the more you watch him, he wins you over, the more he makes you believe.
"Did we think he was going to pitch this quickly in the big leagues? No. Very few have been able to do what he's doing."
Leake's stature has proven to give him an edge on the mound.
"Once I'm pitching, there's a different side to me," Leake said. "Around the clubhouse, I don't really have that attitude, and I don't know where I got it from. It's kind of evolved. It's more like, don't mess with me. Guys my size kind of have a chip our shoulders just because we don't get the attention that some prospects that are 6-foot-3 guys get."
Castro's looking up after storybook debut: Starlin Castro's debut on Friday in Cincinnati was unlike any other from a production standpoint.
The Cubs' shortstop, called up from Double-AA Tennessee earlier in the day, hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat, then added a three-run triple in the fifth inning. The six RBIs in a debut set an MLB record. His second game didn't have the same fireworks, but there was no cause for alarm.
"He's going to be fine," manager Lou Piniella told the Daily Herald. "He's got some things to learn, and who is better to work with him and teach him than [coach] Alan Trammell? Who's better? He's got a wonderful, wonderful hitting coach [Rudy Jaramillo] here to help him with his hitting. He's going to get as good of tutelage as anywhere, and this kid is going to be just fine.
"Is he going to make a mistake along the way? Obviously. But we can live with that because he's going to get better and better, and that's what we're looking for.
"He's going to have some glitches along the way, but at the same time you're embarking a young man on a Major League career that should last for a long, long time."
Gerut just sixth Brewer to hit for cycle: Jody Gerut became the sixth Breweres player to hit for a cycle.
The veteran outfielder's two-run double in the ninth completed the feat and topped off a 17-3 drubbing of the Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
"Unbelievable," Gerut, who became emotional when his teammates jumped onto the top step of the dugout en masse in the ninth to cheer his accomplishment, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It sort of climaxed in the dugout with everybody clapping and genuinely happy for me. I tried to contain myself because the game was out of control. It's unlike anything I've experienced in the game."
Teixeira joins Gehrig with three homers vs. Boston: Mark Teixeira became only the second Yankee to hit three home runs in one game against the Red Sox, joining Lou Gehrig.
"This game can humble you, and I was humbled the first few weeks of the season," Teixeira told the New York Daily News after his 4-for-6, five-RBI game on Saturday. "I kept working hard, and the last week or two, it's been feeling better."
Willingham adds to Mother's Day tradition: Josh Willingham is starting a new family tradition. Last year on Mother's Day, Willingham hit two home runs. This year he only hit one, but it was a game-winning blast in the eighth inning that lifted Washington to a 3-2 win.
Earlier in the day, Denise Willingham had called her son and asked, "Are you going to hit me another home run today?" Josh Willingham told the The Washington Post. He replied, "I can't promise you anything."
Wieters not afraid to take the ball: Matt Wieters was an excellent collegiate pitcher at Georgia Tech, often closing games in which he'd spent the first eight innings catching. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound was destined, however, to strap on the gear.
"I just liked hitting. I like being in the lineup every day. Pitching was a great adrenaline rush when I was closing, but I like being in the lineup," he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Neftali Feliz chalking up the saves: Neftali Feliz has earned a save in each of his last six outings.
"He's certainly been using a minimal amount of pitches, which is great," Rangers manager Ron Washington told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "There's no perfection in this game, but he has shown that he is growing and learning from previous outings."
Pedro Feliz not worrying about 1,000th hit: Pedro Feliz, who got his first hit back in 2000 with the Giants, is still stuck on 999 career hits.
"I should have more than that because I've been playing 10 years," the Houston third baseman jokingly told MLB.com. "Obviously, it's a great number. I don't think about it. I go in there and instead of one, I want to get two and go from there. I'm just worrying about when it's going to be the last one."
-- Red Line Editorial