Gutierrez: Braden staring at his own mortality


Gutierrez: Braden staring at his own mortality

May 11, 2011 A'S PAGE A'S VIDEO Paul Gutierrez
A year and two days after his date with destiny, Dallas Braden set an appointment with a surgeon and the As left-hander is suddenly staring at his own mortality.

The A's announced Wednesday morning that Braden, who authored the 19th Perfect Game in major league history on May 9, 2010, would undergo surgery this coming Monday to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder. New York Mets medical director Dr. David Altcheck will perform the procedure in New York City.

A timetable for Bradens recovery will be determined after surgery.

Braden, 27, has been on the disabled list since April 18, retroactive to April 17, with what was initially diagnosed as shoulder stiffness with no structural damage by Dr. Lewis Yocum.

REWIND: Braden's Perfect Game -- Mother's Day 2010

But after having to shut down a mere game of catch last week because of the pain, Braden sought second and third opinions, from noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., on Monday, and from Dr. Altcheck on Tuesday. The decision to undergo surgery was made shortly thereafter.

In his last start, on April 16 against Detroit, Braden threw five scoreless innings against the Tigers but left the game early with the shoulder stiffness. Afterwards, the normally affable southpaw was unusually glum. On the season, he is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 15 strikeouts and five walks in three starts.

REWIND: Braden seeking second opinion on shoulder

After making 420,000 last season, Braden signed a one-year, 3.35-million contract with the A's on Jan. 18, avoiding arbitration.

Since his memorable Mothers Day Perfect Game last season, Braden is 8-13 with a 3.51 ERA.

In his career, the Stockton product is 26-36 with a 4.16 ERA in 94 big league appearances, including 79 starts, with five complete games and two shutouts.

Braden's spot in the rotation has been ably filled by Tyson Ross, who has excelled in his last three starts. The young right-hander has allowed three earned runs in 19 13 innings over that stretch, lowering his ERA from 4.82 to 2.51. He is scheduled to start again Saturday, at home against the Chicago White Sox.

Barracuda power play leads the way in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids


Barracuda power play leads the way in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids

SAN JOSE – The Barracuda struck for three power play goals, including the game-winner in the second period by Joakim Ryan, in overcoming the Grand Rapids Griffins at SAP Center on Sunday night, 4-2.

San Jose’s victory evens the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series at one game apiece.

Grand Rapids erased a 2-0 hole to tie the game in the middle frame, but less than a minute after Matt Ford knotted the score at 2-2 with a rocket from the circle on a Griffins power play, Ryan’s blast from just inside the blue line at 15:28 staked the Barracuda a lead they would keep for the rest of the night. 

The Barracuda finished 3-for-5 on the power play, after going 0-for-6 in a Game 1 loss on Saturday.

“The power play was a lot better tonight,” Ryan said. “We got set up more. We were able to get shots through from the point.”

One of those shots came early, when defenseman Julius Berman beat goalie Jared Coreau from long range just 3:35 into the game with San Jose on a man advantage. Later in the first, on another power play, Ryan Carpenter found open ice in the slot and redirected a Tim Heed pass at 10:44 for his team-leading eighth of the playoffs.

“Coming out, we wanted to get the first goal tonight,” Carpenter said. “For Bergman to get that first goal was huge for us.”

Ryan and Carpenter both attributed the power play success to winning faceoffs, which is something coach Roy Sommer wanted the club to focus on after it dropped the series opener, 3-1.

Winning faceoffs often is an indication of a team’s compete level, and that, too, was lacking for the Barracuda in an opener in which Sommer said his team played “dumb and slow.” 

Sunday was a much better performance.

“Whenever we’ve had a bad start, or a bad game, the next day these guys have responded,” said Sommer, whose club is the top seed in the Western Conference. “They’ve done it all year.”

The series now shifts to Grand Rapids for the next three games, with Game 3 going Wednesday. The primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, the Griffins posted a 25-11-2 record in their own building in the regular season.

The Barracuda, though, should be a confident group on the road. Against San Diego in the second round, San Jose won all three games in Southern California after splitting the first two at home.

“It’s going to be a hell of a series,” Sommer said. “It’s probably going to go the duration, I imagine. Both teams are kind of feeling each other out and kind of have a pretty good idea of what the other guys are doing now.”

Ryan said: “Honestly, I think they are the team in the league that plays the most like us. I felt like last night they did a better job of taking the game to us. I thought we came out better tonight, and we battled harder, competed more, won more pucks. They’re a really good team, it’s going to be a battle the rest of the series, for sure. They’re not going to lay down.”

Barclay Goodrow’s empty netter with 1:06 left in regulation was the only goal in the third period.

The Barracuda outshot the Griffins, 40-35, including a 20-11 advantage in the first period.

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3


CLEVELAND — Avery Bradley's 3-pointer dropped in with less than a second left and the Boston Celtics, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Sunday night in Game 3 to end the champions' 13-game postseason winning streak.

Bradley's shot from the left wing bounced on the rim four times before going down. It capped a furious comeback by the Celtics, who trailed by 21 in the third quarter before rallying to tighten up a series that appeared to be over.

Marcus Smart scored 27 points, and Bradley had 20 for the Celtics. They were given little chance after losing by 44 in Game 2 and then losing Thomas for the rest of the postseason because of a hip injury.

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, and Kevin Love 28 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers dropped to 10-1 in the postseason with their first loss since Game 4 of last year's Finals.