Just another day in the life of Dallas Braden, who will grace the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated, which hits the shelves tomorrow. Earlier this afternoon, he filmed his “Top Ten” segment on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” After that, he held another news conference here at Rangers Ballpark to discuss Sunday’s perfect game. Here’s a few highlights:
–Braden said he thought he had a 2-2 count on Gabe Kapler, not 3-1, when he threw the pitch that finished off the perfect game. He thought his 2-1 pitch was really close and he assumed it was a strike. So he threw a fastball and Kapler grounded out to short. “I would have thrown the guy a changeup” had he known, Braden said.
–White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, who threw the majors’ last perfect game before Sunday, gave Braden a surprise phone call to congratulate him.
–Which pitchers has Braden always looked up to? He mentioned former Giant Kirk Reuter and 47-year-old Phillies lefty Jamie Moyer, both soft throwers like himself.
““Jamie Moyer, I don’t know how old that guy is. He played catch with Jesus,” Braden said. “Guys that can’t just overpower somebody, they get out there and execute their game plan day in and day out. And Moyer’s been doing it since the turn of the century.”
–On being a Sports Illustrated cover boy: “Sports Illustrated, it’s a magazine you grow up reading. Well, I didn’t really read Sports Illustrated, I thumbed through the pictures. But it’s pretty cool that my mug’s gonna be on that magazine.”
–He also praised catcher Landon Powell, an unsung hero Sunday. The two came through the minor leagues together, and don’t think that familiarity didn’t help out that day.
–And finally, some news involving the rest of the A’s:
Justin Duchscherer said he considers himself ready to come off the disabled list and start Saturday against the Angels. He’ll throw another bullpen session Wednesday just to make sure he’s OK. Manager Bob Geren confirmed Duchscherer would start Saturday if his left hip responds well leading up to the start.
A’s: Pennington SS, Barton 1B, Sweeney RF, Kouzmanoff 3B, Chavez DH, Rosales 2B, Patterson LF, Powell C, Davis CF; Cahill RHP
Rangers: Andrus SS, Young 3B, Hamilton LF, Guerrero DH, Kinsler 2B, Murphy RF, Smoak 1B, Treanor C, Borbon CF; Lewis RHP.