05/30/10 7:22 PM ET
Braden not surprised by Halladay's perfecto
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
Braden, who had been sent home from Comerica Park early to get ready for his Sunday start against the Tigers, was getting word that he was about to gain another buddy named Roy Halladay in the perfecto club. The A's lefty, who just 20 days prior had pitched his way into baseball history with a perfect game, wasn't all that surprised.
"You don't ever take a Halladay outing as a joke," Braden said. "Any time you hear eight innings, no hits, no runs, you think, OK, typical."
When Halladay's feat was made official around 9:30 p.m. ET, a time when he became the 20th Major League pitcher to throw a perfect game, Braden was still watching softball.
"The hotel doesn't get the MLB Network," he said.
Braden didn't need to watch it, though, to appreciate the majesty that is Halladay, who represents one of baseball's best as a consistent perfectionist on the mound.
"The guy's thrown more complete games than I have innings in the big leagues," the A's southpaw said with a smile. "With that guy's stuff, you expect him to go out there and do that every time. The guy's a workhorse. He's the epitome of an ace, what a stable pony does for you."
When Braden showcased his own version of perfection in the form of a special 4-0 victory over the Rays on May 9, not more than a few hours went by before White Sox starter Mark Buehrle -- who last year garnered perfect game No. 18 -- gave him a call of congratulations to welcome him into a unique group of greatness.
The 26-year-old Braden was making the 53rd start of his career that day, the same number of complete games Halladay had entering Saturday's memorable affair. Thus, the A's youngster isn't so sure about his place in making a similar type of call to a seasoned veteran such as Halladay.
"If that is the etiquette," Braden said, "I would, without a doubt, not want to pass up that opportunity just to speak with the man. His body of work speaks for itself, and I'm still trying to cut my teeth, so there's pretty much nothing I could say to the guy that he could take away from.
"You let a guy like that go about his business and do his work, because I know he's already focused on his next one."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.