David Wells has company.
Dallas Braden, the Oakland A’s southpaw who became the 19th pitcher in Major League history to throw a perfect game in 2010, is now the second player to claim to have achieved the feat while hungover.
“There are things you don’t do (before starts),” Braden told The San Francisco Chronicle. “Partaking in libations or adult beverages, that was something I never did before a day game. The night before Mother’s Day, though, I did. We were getting after it a little bit.
“Until that day, I had never treated a start or the day before a start the way I did that day. It’s not like I was telling myself, ‘Let’s get crushed and tomorrow will be awesome.’ It was more like, ‘Let’s just forget about tomorrow.’”
Braden, whose mother died of melanoma when he was in high school, finished that season 11-14 with a 3.50 ERA, but only made three more starts in his career after that year. Braden was just 26 when he prevented the Rays from reaching base on May 9, 2010, but after injuring his left shoulder early in the 2011 season, Braden underwent multiple surgeries and never pitched again. He officially retired in 2014 and now works as an ESPN analyst.
Wells, who attended the same San Diego high school as Yankees legend Don Larsen, memorably threw the second-ever perfect game in franchise history against the Twins on May 17, 1998. In his 2003 autobiography, Wells said he was “half-drunk, with bloodshot eyes, monster breath, and a raging, skull-rattling hangover,” claiming to have fallen asleep at 5 a.m. before the afternoon start.
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