Dallas Braden’s perplexing perfecto
Via Jack Moore of FanGraphs:
At 3:12 PM local time on May 09, 2010, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics retired Gabe Kapler to finish off only the 19th perfect game in major league history, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. Braden struck out six batters in the process and only required 109 pitches to record the 27 consecutive outs…
How unlikely was this performance? Dallas Braden, over the course of his career, had allowed 6.9 hits per 27 batters, 2.0 walks per 27 batters, and 0.2 reached on errors per 27 batters. Overall, that’s 9.1 runners allowed per 27 batters – his numbers for this season alone are similar. According to a basic binomial distribution, the odds of Braden allowing no runners in 27 batters, as he did on Sunday, are .00001517, or 0.001517%. Braden’s perfect game wasn’t quite one-in-a-million. It was more like 15.2 in a million.
I think, given Alex Rodriguez’s recent response to Braden after being criticized by him for walking on “his” mound (self-proclaimed), Braden’s perfect game is an even greater feat. It really is a stunning turn of events, to say the least, when all of the narratives are accounted for and considered. I guess we have learned two things from this episode — 1) karma does, indeed, exist in a broad sense, and 2) if you want to pitch a perfect game, face the Rays.
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images