The Tampa Bay Rays hit for the 19th imperfect game in baseball history on Sunday, failing to have a single batter reach base against Oakland pitcher Dallas Braden. It was the first imperfect game since last year when the Rays also achieved the feat against Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox.
"This is something I'll remember forever," said Rays first baseman Carlos Pena, who only saw seven pitches in going 0-for-3. "For us to do it once is pretty remarkable, but twice in back-to-back years? Wow. Just wow."
Rays manager Joe Maddon echoed Pena.
"I'm just I'm at a loss for words," he said. "I don't know what to say. This team has the potential to do this on any given night. We can come out and put up 10 runs, or we can fail to reach base. It's amazing."
Oakland's Braden tipped his cap to the Rays.
"All credit to them," he said. "They were just terrible. Falling behind in counts, swinging at obvious balls, trying to pull everything. They deserved it. I could tell from the first time through the lineup that they were capable of doing this today. And they did."
A's manager Bob Geren said he hopes Braden's role in Tampa's imperfect game is not overlooked.
"I know this is an offensive-focused game," he said. "But I thought Dallas pitched pretty well. And, really, even if Tampa had been able to get a hit or two, it still would have been a pretty imperfect game on their part. Maybe we should consider honoring the pitcher instead for these kind of games."
All of the bats used in the game by the Rays are being sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
"It will make for a beautiful display," said Hall of Fame director Bruce Akers. "There's hardly a mark on any of them."