Oakland, CA – The dark cloud that loomed over Dallas Braden for eleven weeks has finally dispersed. The frustration, doubt and short stint on the disabled list are now behind him. Braden won his first game since May 9 when he pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I can finally quit answering calls from the Oakland Zoo looking for their monkey,” Braden said. “He’s off my back and I’ll be sending him home.”
The A’s continued their winning ways since the All-Star break. They won seven of their last nine games and beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 to take the series. Oakland has moved to second place in the standings and sit eight games behind first place Texas.
“He had a little trouble early and settled down to pitch well,” manager Bob Geren said. “He lost a little bit of steam in the end and the White Sox got three on the board to make it interesting late.”
The A’s mounted a 6-1 lead through the first six innings behind Braden who retired 13 of 14 batters through five innings. The sixth frame was most challenging after he walked two hitters and allowed three batters to single top of the seventh frame.
“I felt good, I expected some fatigue in the first three to four starts after coming back,” Braden said. “For the most part I finished pitches which is what I was worried about coming off my last start.
He got winded as his pitch count went up to 98 but did well overall giving up five hits, three runs, two walks, and five strike outs. Not bad for the Stockton native who got his second start since coming off the disabled list, after nursing his elbow back to health.
“I think it’s been bothering him a little bit, just the fact that everyone keeps talking about the perfect game,” Kurt Suzuki said. “You do such a great thing after and your obviously going to be under a microscope a bit more.” “It’s nice to get the first win back, now it’s time to for him get on a roll.” “We’re excited to have him back and his pitching was awesome!”
Oakland will have a day off before heading to Texas for a three game series. One of the many factors in the A’s success has been speed. While this team may not be equipped with home run hitters they can still provide great defense and offense when needed.
During the sixth inning leadoff man Coco Crisp made a very crucial play to secure the A’s win. Crisp singled, stole second base and scored when Chicago reliever Erick Sheets threw a wild pitch to first on a pick off attempt. When he saw the third base coach Mike Gallego waving him home he used his speed to round the bases.
“Gags’ arm was feeling good so he decided to use it and wave me around,” Crisp said. “It ended up working out because the throw was off line, if the throws on target, I’m out.” “It was good to take the chance while the guy’s moving away from home plate in foul territory because it turned out to be an important run.”
Written by: Malaika Bobino