Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

ALCS REPORT

Harden Moved Up to Game 3

October 11, 2006|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

OAKLAND — The numbers didn't look that good, but the Oakland Athletics were impressed enough with Rich Harden's 53-pitch instructional league outing in Arizona on Monday to move the potentially overpowering right-hander up from an expected Game 4 start to Game 3 on Friday night.

Harden, who returned in late September after sitting out more than three months because of a sprained elbow ligament, gave up six hits and five runs in 3 1/3 innings Monday and hit 94 mph on the radar gun. When he is right, his fastball touches 98 to 99 mph.

Right-hander Dan Haren, who gave up two runs and nine hits in six innings of Oakland's division series-clinching win over Minnesota on Friday, was pushed from Game 3 to Game 4, a move that was made with a possible Game 7 in mind.

If Harden, who gave up seven earned runs and seven hits, struck out 15 and walked eight in 11 2/3 innings of three September starts after coming off the disabled list, rebounds strongly, the A's would prefer he start Game 7 over Haren.

But if Harden starts Game 4, he would not be available to pitch in relief on three days' rest in a Game 7. Haren would.

"Pushing Dan Haren back a day is a tough decision -- he has pitched a lot of big games for us and pitched very well," Manager Ken Macha said. "But we just feel at this particular time that Rich is going to be the guy in that spot."

Friday's forecast for Detroit calls for possible rain or snow showers, wind, and a low of 37 degrees, not the most ideal conditions for a power pitcher coming off a major elbow injury.

"I won't be concerned about injury as long as I get loose in warmups and prepare well," said Harden, a native of Victoria, British Columbia. "I grew up in that weather and I'm used to it. I'm looking forward to it."

*

Tigers first baseman Sean Casey will sit out Game 2 tonight after suffering a left calf injury while running to first base on a sixth-inning grounder Tuesday.

Shortstop Carlos Guillen moved to first and Ramon Santiago entered at shortstop, and Manager Jim Leyland will probably go with that alignment tonight, and possibly longer.

"I'm not fast enough to blow a calf out, geez," said Casey, who will have an MRI test today. "I felt something, and it definitely wasn't a cramp. I think I pulled it. It's frustrating, because this is the ALCS, it's what you wait your whole life to play for."

*

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|