The perfect game is long gone for Dallas Braden. He finally got his first win since he pitched that masterpiece, but after tonight it looks like he’s going back to his losing ways. 

Tonight was an absolutely disgraceful performance by Braden against the Texas Rangers. It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if Braden had been roughed up by certain hitters in the Rangers lineup such as Michael Young, Vladimir Guerrero, Nelson Cruz, Jorge Cantu, or even David Murphy, but that didn’t happen.  

It was the ninth place hitter in the Rangers lineup; a hitter so bad that he wasn’t even hitting .100 for the season! The batter was Taylor Teagarden, who rarely gets playing time because he simply can’t hit.

For some reason against the A’s he does. Well it was understandable that he did get his first homerun of the season off Vin Mazzaro who should have never gone out to pitch that inning to begin with.

Yet, with Braden on the mound it’s a different story. He came in the bottom of the third and Braden fell behind. Teagarden eventually got a 3-2 changeup that he deposited into left field for an easy double. 

He scored on a double by Elvis Andrus, but that’s the first time that Teagarden gave Braden problems in the game. Coming in to the game Teagarden was hitting .059 on the season. Yes, .059! 

With that double it meant it was Teagarden’s third hit of the season and brought up his average to .086. Teagarden wasn’t done, he had an encore for Braden. 

Braden allowed a sharp single to Christian Guzman who hit a rocket to shortstop Cliff Penningtin. This brought up Teagarden again. Braden then gave up Teagarden’s second homerun of the season.

This is an example that shows how far Braden has fallen since the perfect game he threw in May. 

The game itself showed nothing too exciting for the A’s offense, they just laid down for Cliff Lee. There was no effort except for in the first inning when Daric Barton hit a one out triple and Kurt Suzuki followed up with an RBI double.

There was one last chance for the A’s to come back that was in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs Daric Barton hit a single which was the third hit of the night for him, and Kurt Suzuki followed with a single.

So the A’s had first and second with two outs. In stepped Kevin Kouzmanoff with an opportunity to get the A’s in striking distance against Lee. Well, to call the at-bat disappointing is an understatement. 

Much like Kouzmanoff has done all year, he swung at the first pitch and popped it up, but luckily for him it went out of play instead of being caught. The second pitch from Lee was a fastball on the inside corner and if he had been looking for it he could have it, the third pitch from Lee wasn’t even in the strike zone and Kouzmanoff flailed helplessly at the pitch.

If tonight was a big game for the A’s, that means tomorrow afternoon is even bigger because if they don’t take this weekend series from the Rangers the season is all but over. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon brings out a much better effort. 

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