With Opening Day just around the corner, the OaklandClubhouse Mailbag is back. Todd Morgan addresses…
Scutaro On Cue In A's First Win
Over the previous two seasons, Scutaro ended six games via one walk-off homer, four walk-off singles, and even once on a wild walk-off sacrifice bunt-turned-throwing error.
Now it's seven, after Scutaro drove a Scott Proctor pitch through the rain that just started pouring down in the ninth inning, and just over the glove of Hideki Matsui in left to score Milton Bradley with the winning run.
Scutaro was in the lineup, just like a year ago, due to an injury to shortstop Bobby Crosby.
The game-winning rally started with Bradley watching four errant pitches from Proctor. Jason Kendall bunted the runner to second base.
Nick Swisher was walked intentionally, and the stage was set for Scutaro.
"When they intentionally walked Swisher, everybody in the dugout said, 'They shouldn't have done that,'" second baseman Mark Ellis said.
"When (Scutaro) goes up there, you just know he's going to get the job done. That was awesome. Typical Scoot."
REPLAY: Marco Scutaro's heroics wouldn't have been possible without 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief by Justin Duchscherer, Joe Kennedy and Huston Street. The bullpen helped the A's produce a 4-3 win over the Yankees on Tuesday.
The Yankees had runners in scoring position in each of the final four innings, but Oakland's relievers made big pitches to escape the threats.
--SS Bobby Crosby underwent X-rays Tuesday on his left index finger, and the results were negative. Yankees 2B Robinson Cano slid into Crosby's glove hand in the third inning of Monday's opener. Crosby, who remained in the game for another inning before getting removed, probably will miss about a week with a large laceration on the finger.
-- The sign of the night at the Coliseum was in left-field, as Johnny Damon's former friends in the left-field bleachers needled the centerfielder with a banner that read "Et tu, Damon". The Shakespeare reference may have been in reference to Damon's comments the previous day that former teammate Barry Zito should play in New York next season. Zito is a free agent at the end of this year.
--C Jason Kendall was hit by a pitch to start the seventh inning Tuesday, the 198th HBP of his career, which ties Frank Robinson for seventh on the all-time list. He also contributed with his arm on a second straight day, this time catching Alex Rodriguez in a run-down to end the sixth inning when Rodriguez rounded first base too far after a single as a throw came into Kendall.
--3B Eric Chavez's sixth-inning home run Tuesday was No. 191 of his career, bringing him into a tie with Gus Zernial for eighth on the A's franchise list.
--RHP Rich Harden allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Yankees in his season debut. He struck out four, including Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi with two runners on base in the first inning. He's now 1-2 with a 5.34 ERA in five career starts against the Yankees.
--LF Nick Swisher's third inning solo homerun came on a two-strike count off of starter Mike Mussina. Swisher struggled in two-strike counts all last season.
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