Via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Dallas Braden, the former A’s left-hander who pitched the 19th perfect game in major-league history, told me today that he is retiring after failing to come back from multiple shoulder surgeries.
“There is nothing left in there, it’s just a shredded mess,” Braden told Slusser by phone on Tuesday. “I left my arm on the mound at the Coliseum, and I’m OK with that. … [That perfect game] will always define the one solid day of work I had and the fact that I got to share it with my grandmother, only a few people appreciate the magnitude of that. That was living the dream. … You have to face your mortality one day.”
Braden mowed down 27 straight Rays batters on May 9, 2010, recording six strikeouts, seven groundball outs, 14 flyball outs and using 109 pitches. That moment produced these memorable images (via Getty):
Braden pitched only 18 major league innings after that 2010 campaign and will call it quits at age 30 having made just 94 total appearances in the bigs. He finishes with a 4.16 career ERA and 1.325 career WHIP.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: