New York (1-1) at Oakland (1-1)

Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 66° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed Apr 5, 2006
  • TV: YES, KICU
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Dan Haren helped ease the blow last season when the Oakland Athletics lost Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder.

Haren makes his 2006 debut for the Athletics on Wednesday when they play the rubber game of a three-game set against the New York Yankees at the McAfee Coliseum.

When A’s general manager Billy Beane made the decision to go forward without Hudson and Mulder, one of the reasons was his ability to pry away Haren from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Mulder deal. His vision paid off as Haren shook off a rough start to finish 14-12 with a 3.73 ERA in 34 outings.

The 25-year-old right-hander was extremely effective over his final 12 starts, going 6-5 with a 2.63 ERA. Haren had struggled early, going 1-7 with a 4.87 ERA through his first 10 starts, but A’s manager Ken Macha left him in the rotation to turn it around.

Haren went 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Yankees last season.

Oakland earned its first victory of the season Tuesday, 4-3 on a one-out, ninth-inning RBI single by Marco Scutaro. It made a winner of closer Huston Street, who pitched out of trouble in the top of the ninth as the bullpen recorded 2 1-3 scoreless innings.

Scutaro learned earlier Tuesday that he will be starting at shortstop for the immediate future because shortstop Bobby Crosby—the 2004 AL rookie of the year—will miss about a week with a bruised and cut index finger suffered in Monday’s 15-2 loss.

“I don’t know, it’s just good timing I guess,” Scutaro said. “Billy told me before the game that I’d get the winning hit. I just got the opportunity. I’m not an RBI guy. I just try for good at-bats.”

Crosby is trying not to become discouraged by his latest setback—because this is not something he considers serious. He had two stints on the disabled list last season.

“It wasn’t like last year. They’re not putting me on the DL,” he said. “It’s only painful because I’m not in there tonight. This time it’s nothing that might keep me out for an extended period of time. I’ve been spiked before, but nothing like that.”

Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez each homered Tuesday for Oakland, which won for only the third time in its last 11 home games against New York.

The Yankees—who had 17 hits in winning the series opener—went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position, stranded 10 runners and wasted a strong start from Mike Mussina. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings.

Chien-Ming Wang gets the ball for the Yankees after a successful rookie campaign.

Wang went 8-5 with a 4.02 ERA in 17 starts last season, entering the rotation due to New York’s numerous injuries to its starters. The 25-year-old started Game 2 of the AL Division Series against Los Angeles, recording the loss and becoming the youngest pitcher to start a Yankees postseason game in nearly eight years.

This will mark Wang’s first career appearance against Oakland. He suffered a right hand contusion on March 26 after being hit by a batted ball in a spring training game against Detroit, but X-rays were negative.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Wang Cin vs. D. Haren LAD
19-6 Record 14-13
3.63 ERA 4.12
76 K 176
52 BB 45
1.31 WHIP 1.21