The Rangers swept the Kansas City Royals out of town today with a 6-4 win. Reliever Doug Mathis picked up the win to improve his record to a 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA. Closer Neftali Feliz picked up his ninth save of the season pitching 1 inning with no hits or walks. Starter Scott Feldman continued to struggle lasting only 4 innings giving up 6 his with four earned runs and two walks
The big news of the day though was that Oakland Athletics starter Dallas Braden pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays who are currently leading the American League East by one game over the Yankees. This is the second time in less than a year that an opposing pitcher has pitched a perfect game against them. Last year on July 23, 2009 Chicago White Sox starter Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game against the Rays, which was also a day game.
In 134 years of professional baseball there has only been 19 perfect games thrown. Before the Buehrle perfect game last year, the last one was thrown by future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson in 2004 and before that was the Yankees David Cone who pitched his perfect game on July 18, 1999. Just one season before that on May 17 1998 David Wells also with the Yankees pitched a perfect game.
The essence of a perfect game is pretty amazing if you think about it, especially in today’s era. There are numerous scouting reports on every pitcher. The opposing teams know what he has working for him in his arsenal and what pitches are capable of being hit. Teams generally will play or sit certain players depending on their stats against a certain pitcher. So a pitcher will be facing the teams best nine players against them almost every start.
So if you think ab0ut what all goes into a perfect game, no hits, no walks, no errors and no hit baseman. You have to face their nine man lineup at least 3 times each and keep the hitters on their toes throughout the entire game, without throwing too many pitches so you can make a full nine innings or more. The Rangers have one perfect game thrown in their history and that was against the California Angels on July 28, 1994 by Texas starter Kenny Rogers. Enough about how amazing a perfect game truly is and now onto what the Rangers have to face in the upcoming series at home against the Oakland Athletics, thankfully Braden will not be starting against the Rangers in this series.
The Rangers will send Colby Lewis (3-1 3.03 ERA) to face off against Oakland Athletics starter Trevor Cahill (1-1 5.40 ERA). Lewis is tied with fellow starter C.J. Wilson with three wins to lead the starters. The Rangers are on a roll and now have 18-14 record with a one game lead over the Athletics in the West. The Rangers currently have a four game winning streak winning 8 of their last nine and the Athletics are on 2 game winning streak, so once the game ends tomorrow night one streak will be over.