How Net Runs works
Dallas Braden: -0.568 NRuns... 4.46 EXERA
Oakland defense: 4.807 NRuns
Tampa Bay Rays: -4.471 NRuns
Rays hitters: -4.239 NRuns
Working in Braden's favor, aside from an impressive all-around effort by his defense, was a 20 mph wind in from RF. Nobody was taking anyone deep in this game, and any hitter would have been hard pressed to hit it over the outfielders. Only two players did hit it more than halfway between the infield dirt and the fence: Adam Rosales in the 5th and Landon Powell in the 8th. The A's outfielders did not have to move back for a single flyball or line drive in this game. Add in the A's getting some balls to drop in front of the defense, plus some help from bad Rays defense, and the A's had this game in the bag.
Hidden behind the perfecto was a great and strange play for the A's. With Cliff Pennington on 1st and two outs in the 4th, Daric Barton lined a single off pitcher James Shields. Pennington, running on contact, took 3rd base. As Pennington beat the throw from CF B.J. Upton, Barton made a wide turn for 2nd to draw 3B Evan Longoria off the bag in what initially appeared to be a rundown.
It appeared to be some bad baserunning by Barton, but was actually a smart play on his part: Nobody else backed up the bag at 3rd and Longoria could not come after Barton without leaving Pennington free to do exactly what he did as Longoria came well off the bag after Barton: Pennington took off for home, drawing a hurried throw from Longoria to the catcher Dioner Navarro.
Pennington turned back and dove for 3rd. James Shields got to the bag in time for a close play but Navarro hurried a throw wide of the bag and Shields, himself rushed, muffed the throw from Navarro as the ball tumbled past him into foul ground. Pennington got up and scored easily as Barton, who took 2nd easily once Longo threw home, scooted to 3rd on the bad throw before Shields could retrieve the ball. It was a smart play by Barton to seize the extra bag given the circumstances, as the Rays could not come after him without risking Pennington going home and scoring. Turns out Longoria couldn't resist, and the chain of events led to an even worse conclusion.
Back to Braden: He was lucky that his five line drives (two in the final frame of his perfecto) all found fielders. But he got a good share of pop outs and strikeouts, and again their flyballs didn't have much of a chance with the wind pushing them back. Nonetheless, as the A's found out at the plate, the strong wind also improves the chances of bloop hits finding the grass for base hits.
Congratulations not just to Dallas Braden but to the Oakland A's defense for making sure not a single Ray reached base.